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60 Killed In Racist Crimes In Russia In 2007 - Human Rights Activists

MOSCOW. Nov 10 (Interfax) - Human rights activists are concerned about the growing number of crimes motivated by xenophobia and national intolerance in Russia. "Some 200 attacks and conflicts xenophobia-motivated by were committed in January-October 2007. Sixty people were killed and not fewer than 280 were injured," Alexander Brod, director of the Moscow Human Rights Bureau, told Interfax on Saturday.

According to the Moscow Human Rights Bureau, 25 people were killed and over 80 were injured as a result of xenophobia-motivated crimes in 2004. There were 200 ethnic driven crimes in 2005, in which 25 were killed and some 200 were injured. Fifty-six people fell victims of xenophobia in 2006, some 249 were injured, Brod said.

"A rather high level of xenophobia and ethnic intolerance has existed in Russia. The main trend is that crimes have become more aggressive and are committed in public," Brod said.

Some 56 people were convicted on charges of committing xenophobia- related crimes, he said.

"But still prosecutors and judges pay little attention to fascist literature and nationalistic newspaper reports. There is no state program to prevent intolerance. There is no Russian national policy strategy. Regretfully, society is passive to radicals, and anti-fascist public organizations are easy to count on fingers," Brod said.

There are more than 300 extremist human rights organizations, the number of whose members exceeds 10,000 people, he said.

There are all-Russian organizations that use nationalist rhetoric, and some of them are now being registered. "The total number of activists of such organizations, as well as regional unions, can be estimated at 10,000 - 15,000 people," Brod said.