Criminal Accusations against Two Schoolgirls in St. Petersburg

In March 2008, in St. Petersburg, a criminal case based on Article 116, Paragraph 2, Part (c) of the Russian Criminal Code (beating motivated by racial hatred) was set up against two female students at the 558 school in the Kolpino district.

The court's conclusion established that the two schoolgirls (aged 16 and 17) had constantly provoked conflicts with one of the school's pupils because of his racial belonging. They had harshly insulted him and once even made recourse to beating.

In mid-July 2008, the Kolpino district attorney's office considered the application of the federal law :concerning the system of preventive measures against the neglect and delinquency of minors;. The analysis concluded that both the district administration and the school management had failed to undertake the needed measures for the protection of the students from insults, physical and psychological violence, and intolerance.

The two girls turned out to have had a very tough family life: one of them was being brought up by her grandmother after the death of her father and the taking away of the mother's parental rights; the second girl came from a poor incomplete family. The two had been previously considered for punishments within the school for their attitude towards other students, but their otherwise exemplary behavior was always taken into account - the school had thus failed to both punish and work with the two girls. Furthermore, the prosecutors concluded, the disturbances were possible because of the absence of proper official control of the Kolpino district administration concerned with school activity.