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#18 - JRL 2006-141 - JRL Home
Russia is not soft on racial, religious crimes - Foreign Ministry spokesman

Moscow, 19 June: The Russian Foreign Ministry disagrees with the UN special rapporteur on racism and related intolerance, Doudou Diene, who has said that people who commit ethnic crimes in Russia go unpunished. The ministry hopes his report on this issue is going to be objective.

"I would like to disagree with Diene that people who commit crimes prompted by racial, ethnic or religious hatred go unpunished. These crimes are most definitely investigated and efforts are made to find out who committed them and to bring them to justice," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin has told Interfax.

He said that "modern Russian legislation, and in particular, the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, offers various ways of preventing and punishing any manifestations of racism or xenophobia".

"As for Diene's statement on the presence in the Russian Federation of political parties with racist platforms, I would like to say that in line with Russian legislation these parties are denied state registration. Moreover, if such a party has already been registered, its activities could be deemed illegal by the court and it could be banned," Kamynin said.

Kamynin also said that it is very important here to recall other remarks made by the special rapporteur at a news conference: in his view "there is no state policy of racism, xenophobia or ethnic intolerance in Russia."