Racism and Xenophobia in December 2017. Preliminary results for the year
In December 2017, five people were injured in attacks motivated by racism and neo-Nazism in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
In total, according to our information as at the end of December, four people died and at least 64 were injured in such attacks in 18 Russian regions in 2017. One must note, by the way, that these and other pieces of information for the year are purely preliminary, and that it is still too early to compare these figures with those from previous years.
By levels of violence, this year’s leaders are: St. Petersburg (one dead and 24 wounded or beaten), Moscow (nine wounded or beaten), and the Republic of Tatarstan (five wounded).
The victims of ultra-right-wing attacks were natives of Central Asia (11 wounded), and people of unidentified “non-Slavic” appearance (six injured). In addition, people from the Caucasus suffered attacks (three wounded), dark-skinned people (one killed), and immigrants from the Middle East (three wounded). The statistics also include the ideological opponents of the far right (one killed and 16 injured), those belonging to the LGBT community (11 injured), homeless (two killed and one injured), people who were beaten as witnesses of attacks who tried to interfere or just passersby (nine injured), and also representatives of religious groups (four injured).
In December, we learned about only three acts of neo-Nazi vandalism, they occurred in Moscow and the Rostov region.
In total for 2017, we learned about 47 acts of ideologically motivated vandalism in 25 regions. The main objects of these crimes were ideological (i.e., communist, military, and so on) memorials (18 cases), Orthodox churches or cathedrals (10), Jehovah’s Witnesses buildings (nine), Protestant places of worship (two), and one act of vandalism each took place at the building of the Federation of Jewish Communities, at a place of sanctuary for pagans, and at a Buddhist stupa.
Of the public events held by neo-Nazis in December, only one notable action took place, which was the demonstration in Moscow on December 6, 2017, in commemoration of the Spartak fan, Yegor Sviridov, who was killed seven years ago. This demonstration was organized by the Party of Nationalists and the Nation and Freedom Committee. Still, only nine participated in this action.
In December 2017, one person in Nizhny Novgorod was convicted for racially motivated violence.
In total since the start of the year, at least 12 guilty verdicts were handed down in cases related to violence motivated by hate with 25 people convicted (one of them received suspended sentence without any extra punishment; another case ended in a settlement) in 10 regions.
For December 2017, courts handed down 21 convictions for xenophobic statements in 14 Russian regions. In these cases, 20 were convicted: four were sentenced to prison, 12 received suspended sentences, two were sentenced to community service, two were fined, and one was sent to a medical facility for court-mandated treatment.
For the year as a whole, we learned about 210 guilty verdicts (we did not included convictions that we rate as inappropriate) for statements that incite ethnic and religious hate. In these cases, 225 people were convicted in 65 regions. Of these, 112 received suspended sentences and 46 were sentenced to jail.
In 2017, three convictions for vandalism motivated by hatred (Article 214 Part 2) were issued against five people in the Altai and Trans-Baikal territories and the Lipetsk region. In December, there were no such convictions.
In December, one conviction was issued for participation in the activities of banned organizations. In the Krasnodar territory three members of the banned movement, “Spiritual-Ancestral Power Rus,” were sentenced. In total for 2017, for the organization of and participation in extremist communities and for the organization of and participation in the activities of extremist organizations, three convictions were made in the Altai and Krasnodar territories and in the Samara region. Five were sentenced in these cases.
In December 2017, the Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated three times (on December 8, 12, and 21). Points 4316-4341 were added to it. For all of 2017, the list was updated 32 times and rose from 4016 to 4331 items, that is, by 326 points, which is a good deal less than in 2016, when the list increased by 459 points.
In 2017, six organizations (including point 62, in which the unlawfully banned Administrative Center of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and its 395 local organizations are listed) were added to the Federal List of Extremist Organizations, which is published on the website of the Russian Ministry of Justice. In particular, in May 2017, the ultra-right-wing organization Frontier of the North was added to the list. It was recognized as extremist by the decision of the Syktyvkar City Court of the Komi Republic on November 23, 2016. Furthermore, in November 2017, the football fan association, “T.O.Y.S.” (The Opposition Young Supporters) was added, this organization was recognized as extremist by the decision of the Sovyetsky District Court of the city of Samara on April 11, 2017. Therefore, as of December 30, 2017, this list included 63 organizations, the activities of which were banned by court order and the continuation of whose activities is punishable by Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code (organizing activities of an extremist organization).
Finally, this year, the list of organizations recognized as terrorist, which is published on the website of the Federal Security Service, was updated. Under point 27, only one organization was added this year: Mujahideen of Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad.