#13 - JRL 2009-185 - JRL Home

Ethnic crimes in Russia down on last year - rights campaigners

Moscow, 5 October: Since the beginning of the year 59 people have died and 235 have been injured in the Russian Federation as a result of crimes on ethnic grounds and, in total, 181 attacks have been committed "on the grounds of aggressive xenophobia", according to a report by the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights (MBHR) circulated on Monday (5 October).

During a similar period last year, at least 100 people died and at least 308 were injured at the hands of radical nationalists, and in 2007 at least 48 people died and at least 230 were injured, the MBHR report says.

The majority of serious crimes have been recorded by human rights campaigners in Moscow and Moscow Region where on ethnic grounds 25 people have been killed and 109 injured, and in St Petersburg and
Leningrad Region where eight people have died and 25 people have been injured. In Chechnya since the beginning of the year, radical nationalists have killed five people; the figure for Nizhniy Novgorod is the same, while at least 42 people have been injured there.

Uzbeks have been the most common victims - 14 dead and 10 injured - followed by Russians (five dead and nine injured), Tajiks (five dead and 17 injured), Azeris (five dead and 14 injured) and Kyrgyz nationals (four dead and 10 injured).

The nationality of more than 52 of the dead and injured is not known for sure, according to human rights champions.

In September, 11 crimes on the grounds of aggressive xenophobia were committed and, as a result, five people were killed and 14 injured. The most serious crimes which resulted in the deaths of people were committed in Moscow, Leningrad Region, Orel and Karachay-Cherkessia. Among the victims of these crimes were Tajik, Azeri, Russian, Karachay, Buryat, African, Uzbek and Georgian nationals.

Between the beginning of the year and the end of September, 230 people were sentenced for crimes committed on the grounds of aggressive xenophobia. Two of them received sentences of between 20 and 25 years, 20 people between 10 and 20 years and 50 people between one and five years. In the same period last year 138 people were sentenced and in 2007 the number was 48.

In September, 27 people were sentenced for such crimes. Two of them received sentences of between 10 and 20 years, nine between five and 10 years and three between one and five years.

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