Headlines 25 March, 2011
MURDERS OF ROMA PEOPLE WERE PLANNED (Hungary)
25/3/2011- The perpetrators of attacks on the homes of Roma people in Hungary in recent years, during which at least six people perished, were planned "with military precision." At the first hearing today in a Budapest court, dozens of prominent persons were present in the courtroom, including politicians, representatives of the Roma community, and relatives of the victims. Three persons are charged with the murders, while a fourth is charged with committing lesser, related crimes. The prosecutor took several hours to read out the charges today. The trial will continue next week and should last until 13 July. The verdict will evidently be handed down sometime next year.
Six people perished in the series of attacks committed against Roma in their homes in 2008 and 2009. Four alleged members of a gang of gunmen were arrested in August 2009 at a pub in Debrecín. The group, which is allegedly ideologically close to the neo-Nazi scene, is charged by the prosecution with having formed in 2007, when its four future members - Árpád K., István K., Zsolt P. a István Cs. - agreed the state was doing nothing to suppress "Gypsy crime" and that they therefore should take the issue into their own hands. The men - a bouncer, a former KFOR soldier, a pastry cook, and a sound engineer - are alleged to have bonded over their fanatical hatred of Roma. Their situation is analogous to that of the Vítkov arsonists in the Czech Republic.
From July 2008 until August 2009, the men allegedly committed almost 20 attacks in nine small towns and villages in central and eastern Hungary during which six people perished, including a five-year-old child, and in which five other people, including yet another child, suffered serious injuries. They are charged with shooting a total of 78 bullets at Roma people and their homes, throwing Molotov cocktails into at least seven homes, and menacing a total of 55 people. One of those arrested has refused to testify. The other three have testified, but deny their guilt. "They now face sentences between 15 years and life in prison, depending on their degree of culpability. The case greatly exacerbated the atmosphere at the time, Roma people even prepared to emigrate en masse," said Attila Petöfi of the Hungarian National Bureau of Investigation.
"This sick killing has ended. For two years, the Roma in Hungary could not live in peace, for two years they could not sleep at night because they were afraid for their children's lives," said Orbán Kolompár, chair of a Roma Minority Self-Government body. The trial should last 34 days. More than 160 witnesses will testify. After the first round of hearings, the court will evaluate the evidence and then confer on sentencing. Incitement to racial hatred is a crime under Hungarian law. The number of persons so charged and the number of verdicts handed down in cases of racially motivated attacks, however, are lower than the number of reports of such attacks made to non-governmental organizations. The Hungarian Police say that in 2008 there were 12 racially motivated attacks on the Roma community, followed by six attacks in 2009. Non-government organizations recorded 18 racially motivated attacks in 2008 and 25 in 2009.
This discrepancy occurs because the victims of hate crimes do not always report them to the authorities out of fear. Police and prosecutors also decide not to evaluate some crimes as racially motivated. Many victims interviewed by representatives of Amnesty International have been traumatized by the attacks and do not know where to seek support. "The Hungarian authorities are obligated to prevent discrimination and to ensure justice for the victims of hate crime," Czech Television reports Nicola Duckworth of Amnesty International as saying.
"TRIAL OF THE DECADE" TO START IN BUDAPEST OF MEN CHARGED WITH MURDERS OF ROMA PEOPLE (Hungary)
State prosecutor rejects racial motivation, says series of murders prompted by base motives
22/3/2011- This week sees the start of the trial in Budapest Regional Court of the men accused of murdering six Roma individuals, some of them children, of attempting the murders of other Roma people in various parts of Hungary, and of injuring dozens of people between 2008 and 2009. The perpetrators selected the residences of Roma people located on the outskirts of towns or villages as their targets in order to have access to easy getaway routes. According to international organizations, however, the number of homicidal attacks against Roma people in Hungary is far greater than the number being brought to trial and the majority of them remain unsolved to this day. The investigation of this series of homicidal attacks in Hungary was accompanied by indifference and numerous mistakes by the police organs, mistakes similar to those which occurred during the investigation of arson attacks committed against Roma families in the Silesian region of the Czech Republic from 2007 to 2009. It often took a long time for the police to inform the public about the cases. Police sometimes clouded the issue by claiming that the probable motivation for the murders was revenge by loan sharks for non-payment of loans. For entire months, police rejected the thesis that these murders could be a series of racist attacks being committed by one and the same group of perpetrators, even though the individual attacks were very similar to one another.
In the case of the most brutal attack, an ambulance without a doctor on board arrived as late as one hour after the crime was committed, by which time only one of the gunshot victims was still alive. Responders did not succeed in saving his life. Local police assumed the fire at the dwelling involved had been caused by an electrical short even though bullet casings were found on the scene. Criminal investigators did not start working on the case until 10 hours after the crime was committed. The two police officers responsible were disciplined for this failure - of course, only after sustained public pressure. When the police, after one year of investigation, had turned up no leads, they gradually increased the amount of the reward being promised to the citizenry for providing information about the perpetrators. This reward finally reached the unheard-of figure of EUR 380 000 (and no, that's not a typo). This breathtaking amount of money testifies to the degree of pressure placed on the police by the Hungarian government. That pressure was mainly caused by sharp criticism from the international community of the Hungarian authorities' inability to halt this series of violent homicides. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation even sent several "profilers" to Hungary to assist in compiling profiles of the perpetrators.
On 21 August 2009, the Hungarian NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) arrested four men in the town of Debrecín and charged them with perpetrating a series of organized homicidal attacks. At the end of June 2010, the authorities announced their investigation was complete and filed a motion for the suspects to be charged with multiple counts of murder, robbery, misuse of firearms and vandalism. For three of the suspects, detectives managed to prove their participation in various attacks with the help of DNA analyses and scrutiny of their confiscated weapons; the fourth is charged with assisting the others in performing some of the attacks. In September 2010, the regional state prosecutor in Pest filed suit charging the three men with committing multiple counts of murder in the cases of six people, some of whom were children, as well as attempted murder; the fourth suspect is charged with abetting the premeditated homicides. The suit charges that the crimes were carried out "for base motives" and does not mention racial motivation. The human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) has protested this qualification and is demanding a review of the alleged perpetrators' motivation. Miklós Kárpáti, the legal representative of the victims of one of the attacks, has said: "I understand that it can be complicated to prove racial motivation for crimes when those charged reject such motivation or change their claims. However, such motivation should never be excluded as a possibility during the first phase of investigation."
Media reports say some of the defendants were connected to the Hungarian secret service, while others had been active on the neo-Nazi scene in the past. The trial will begin under strict security conditions on Friday, 25 March 2011. During the 34 days of the trial, between 25 March and 13 July 2011, a total of 165 witnesses and 30 experts will give testimony. According to the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), more attacks in Hungary from the 2007-2009 period remain unsolved. The attacks on Roma families claimed a total of nine lives, including two children. Dozens of people were injured, 10 of them so seriously that their lives were endangered. In at least 12 cases, Molotov cocktails were used, while hand grenades were used in two. Weapons were fired in at least 12 of the cases. The property of Roma people was also devastated in at least nine instances. AI is demanding the Hungarian government investigate all of these attacks. It is also demanding that, should the evidence warrant it, the charges in these cases be expanded to include other crimes committed and the number of defendants be increased as well.
What the suspects are charged with - the facts of the cases
Three men have been charged with committing nine attacks. A fourth is charged with participating in some of them. AI has reported the following information:
# Shortly after midnight on 21 July 2008, several shots were fired into homes occupied by Roma people in the village of Galgagyörk. Luckily, no one was injured. During the investigation, police considered the motivation to have been either racial or a case of violence inside the Roma community. A few weeks prior to the attack, clashes had occurred between the Hungarian Guard and the Roma community in the village.
# On 8 August 2008, Molotov cocktails were thrown into two homes occupied by Roma people on the outskirts of the village of Piricse. The perpetrators then started shooting at the residents. One person suffered life-threatening injuries.
# Two more attacks followed during which no one was injured: One attack, committed on 5 September 2008, was committed in Nyíradon and featured shots fired at the home of a Roma family. The other attack was committed at the end of the month in the village of Tarnabod and featured Molotov cocktails being thrown at five Roma homes prior to shots being fired.
# During the early morning hours of 3 November 2008, a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the home of a Roma family in the village of Nagycsécs. Two people were shot as they tried to flee their burning home.
# On 15 December 2008, a Roma man suffered serious injuries after being shot in the village of Alsózsolca. His common-law wife also suffered light injuries as a result of the attack.
# A Roma man and his four-year-old son were shot on 23 February 2009 on the outskirts of the town of Tatárszentgyörgy while trying to flee their home, which had been set alight by Molotov cocktails. The original police investigation of this case labeled the incident an accident. An autopsy then confirmed that the victims had died as a result of gunshot wounds.
# A 54-year-old Roma man was shot on 22 April 2009 in the village of Tiszalök while leaving his home to go work the night shift at his job. The Hungarian Prime Minister labeled this crime a "disgraceful, evil, reprehensible assassination."
# The ninth attack of this series took place in the village of Kisléta on 2 August 2009. A Roma widow was murdered and her 13-year-old daughter was seriously injured. Government officials condemned the attack. The Hungarian Prime Minister said: "This inhuman crime targeted Roma people, but the murderers have really attacked the entire nation."
22/3/2011- Data collected by anti-racist civil society groups reveal that Cyprus has seen “an unprecedented rise in racist crime and racist violence particularly against migrants and asylum seekers” as well as the rise of far-right nationalistic groups and parties. A press release issued by the Cyprus branch of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) yesterday to mark International Day against Racial Discrimination, reports point to manifestations of racism across Europe in a broad range of areas, including employment, housing, education, health, policing, access to goods and services, and the media. The pending release of the reports covering the 2009-2010 period is expected to highlight that extremism and racist violence are on the rise in Europe.
On Cyprus, the report will conclude that “the strict migration policies and model followed in Cyprus continue to deny migrants, asylum seekers and refugees effective access to basic social and political rights and in most cases to their human rights in general”. While Cyprus has antidiscrimination legislation in place, this “remains largely unimplemented on the ground”, said the ENAR Cyprus branch, adding that the country was “far from taking the necessary measures to achieve real equality for all people irrespective of nationality, race, colour or ethnic origin”. In a damning indictment of the government’s latest efforts to introduce and implement a migration policy on the island, ENAR said: “Whereas integration may stand prominently on the agenda of the Cypriot migration policies, little is achieved to that effect and migrants continue to live at the margins of the society.”
ENAR President Chibo Onyeji said: “The report demonstrates that racism is far from over in Europe -- we still have a long way to go before reaching effective equality for all.” ENAR is a network of European NGOs working to combat racism in all EU member states and represents more than 700 NGOs spread around the EU. The network’s purported aim is to fight racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, to promote equality of treatment between EU citizens and third country nationals.
© The Cyprus Mail
ITALY: ACT SWIFTLY TO END RACIST VIOLENCE
Authorities Should Acknowledge Problem, Ensure Prosecutions
21/3/2011- The Italian government is failing to take effective action to prevent and prosecute racist and xenophobic violence, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Immigrants, Italians of foreign descent, and Roma have been the victims of brutal attacks in Italy in recent years. The 71-page report, "Everyday Intolerance: Racist and Xenophobic Violence in Italy," documents the state's failure to take effective measures against hate crimes. Prosecutions for racially-motivated violence are rare, with Italian officials downplaying the extent of the problem and failing consistently to condemn attacks. Insufficient training of law enforcement and judiciary personnel and incomplete data collection compound the problem. At the same time, political rhetoric, government policies, and media coverage linking immigrants and Roma to crime have fueled an environment of intolerance.
"The government spends far more energy blaming migrants and Roma for Italy's problems than it does on efforts to stop violent attacks on them," said Judith Sunderland, senior Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. "The government's alarmist talk of an invasion of ‘biblical proportions' from North Africa is just the latest example of irresponsible rhetoric. Officials should be protecting migrants and Roma from attack." Cities across Italy have seen mob violence and individual attacks targeting migrants, Roma, and Italians of foreign descent. Mobs rampaged through Roma camps in Naples in May 2008 and assaulted African seasonal migrant workers in Rosarno, Calabria, in January 2010. A group of at least 15 people attacked a Bengali bar in Rome in March 2010.
Authorities recorded 142 hate crimes in the first nine months of 2009, but one Italian anti-racism organization registered 398 media reports of such crimes in roughly the same period, with 186 physical assaults (18 of which led to death). Individual attacks include the September 2008 murder of Abdoul Guiebre, an Italian of Burkina Faso origin bludgeoned to death on the street in Milan after a petty theft from a café; the brutal beating of a Chinese man in October 2008 as he waited for a bus in Rome; and the February 2009 attack on an Indian man in a town outside Rome, in which he was beaten, doused with gasoline, and set on fire.
Human Rights Watch also documented troubling cases of law enforcement abuse against Roma, during camp evictions and in the custody of police or Carabinieri (a Defense Ministry force that shares responsibility for civilian policing in Italy). Italian law provides for increased prison sentences for crimes aggravated by racial motivation, but the statute has yet to live up to its promise, Human Rights Watch said. The 1993 statute has often been interpreted by prosecutors and the courts only to apply to cases where racial hatred was the sole motivation, leaving serious racist crimes prosecuted as though they were ordinary offences. The state prosecuted Abdoul Guiebre's murder as an ordinary crime, for example, despite the racist insults uttered by the perpetrators during the attack. Crimes motivated by hatred over sexual orientation and gender identity are not covered at all.
The extreme violence against African seasonal migrant workers in Rosarno, Calabria, in January 2010, including drive-by shootings and three days of mob violence that left at least 11 migrants hospitalized with serious injuries, did not lead to prosecutions and convictions for racially-motivated crimes. Only three Italians were prosecuted and convicted in connection with the violence. Local residents and law enforcement officers also suffered injuries, some of them caused by migrants during riots against the mob attacks. Italian officials minimized the racist dimension of the violence in Rosarno, in keeping with a general tendency to call racially-motivated crimes rare. The Italian government does not collect or publish disaggregated statistics on crime reports or prosecutions. Authorities point to the low numbers of official complaints and prosecutions for racially motivated violence to argue that such violence is rare, ignoring underreporting and the failure of the authorities to correctly identify it.
"The Italian government likes to pretend that racist violence hardly ever happens," said Sunderland. "But if you are an Italian from an ethnic minority, Roma, or a migrant, the truth is it's all too common. Acknowledging the scale of the problem is a necessary condition for tackling it." A consequence of the authorities' failure to recognize these hate crimes as a significant problem is that law enforcement personnel and prosecutors do not receive systematic, specialized training in identifying, investigating, and prosecuting racist violence. Roma, the most vilified minority in Italy today, are especially at risk of harassment and mistreatment during camp evictions and in police or Carabinieri custody, Human Rights Watch said. With serious allegations of abuse by law enforcement personnel left uninvestigated, and virtual impunity for mob violence against Roma camps, many Roma have little or no faith in public institutions. "Many people, especially undocumented migrants and Roma, are just too scared to go the police," Sunderland said. "The government has to do much more to encourage reporting and build trust among these particularly vulnerable communities."
Political discourse and media coverage linking immigrants and Roma to crime has fueled a dangerous environment of intolerance in a country that has seen a dramatic increase in immigration over the past 10 years. Since 2008, the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, in coalition with the openly anti-immigrant Northern League party, has adopted "emergency" decrees to pave the way for strong-handed measures against undocumented migrants and Roma, and passed a law making undocumented entry and stay in Italy a crime punishable by a hefty fine. Elected officials across the political spectrum have engaged in anti-immigrant and anti-Roma rhetoric.
This Human Rights Watch report contains concrete recommendations to the Italian government to strengthen its response to racist violence, including:
* Consistently and forcefully condemning, at the highest level, racist and xenophobic violence.
* Reforming criminal law to ensure that hate motivation can be applied even when perpetrators have mixed motives, and expanding the list of protected characteristics to include, at a minimum, sexual orientation and gender identity.
* Ensuring obligatory training for law enforcement personnel and public prosecutors on detecting, investigating, and prosecuting crimes motivated wholly or in part by racial, ethnic, or xenophobic bias.
* Collecting and routinely publishing comprehensive statistics on hate crimes.
© Human Rights Watch
MAXIMUM HATE CRIME JAIL TERM TO BE FIVE YEARS (uk)
21/3/2011- The maximum jail term for sectarian hate crimes will rise from six months to five years under plans being considered by the Crown Office. Outgoing Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini has also revealed that a specialist unit to tackle sectarianism in Scotland will be set up. The moves, sparked by growing concern over sectarian tensions at Old Firm games, would mean online death threats and religious hatred will become an indictable offence, meaning those convicted can receive up to five years in jail. Punishment for such offences is currently limited to six months. Ms Angiolini said a new football-related breach of the peace charge was also to be introduced, to allow sheriffs to take tougher action against seasoned soccer thugs. In another initiative, Crown officials will review all sectarian offences committed over the past year.
© The Scotsman
Headlines 18 March, 2011
ANTISEMITISM IN UKRAINE AND LITHUANIA
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL VANDALIZED IN UKRAINE
16/3/2011- Someone vandalized a Holocaust memorial in a town near Lviv, Ukraine, according to a March 16 report in the Ukraine edition of "Komsomolskaya Pravda." The words "Death to the kikes" and a swastika were daubed on the memorial in the town of Velikie Mosta. Vandals also chopped off the head of a memorial to Soviet soldiers who took back the area from the Nazis toward the end of World War II. Police are investigating both incidents.
ANTISEMITIC GRAFFITI ON VILNIUS SYNAGOGUE.
18/3/2011- An unidentified individual wrote the Nazi slogan "Juden raus!" ("Jews out!") on the wall of a synagogue in Vilnius, Lithuania, according to a March 18 report by Interfax. The Jewish community has asked for a police investigation.
ANTI-SEMITISM MANIFESTATIONS IN RUSSIA IN 2010
Attacks and vandalism motivated by anti-Semitism
Public actions of anti-Semitic orientation
Popularity of anti-Semitic views
Anti-Semitism manifestations on the part of authorities
Use of anti-Semitism in election campaigning
Anti-Semitic books and publications in mass media
Anti-Semitism in religious sphere
Use of pseudo-human rights rhetoric by nationalists
Response of authorities to anti-Semitism manifestations
Public against anti-Semitism
Russian Orthodox church against anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism was still a constituent of radical nationalism in 2010. Being a complicated historical-social phenomenon, anti-Semitism is a conglomeration of various beliefs that are transformed in the course of historical process and are in permanent dialectical interaction. In modern Russian religious, conspirological, â€śanti-capitalistâ€ť, and common everyday constituents of anti-Semitism are still distinctly expressed. At the same time one can speak about practically complete absence of state anti-Semitism – this became possible due to radical changes iin social-political and economic life of Russia during recent 20 years as well as due to principled position of highest officials. Ideological anti-Semitism is expressed in specific unlawful actions. Though number of attacks on Jews remains minimal and even decreased as compared with 2009, number of vandalism acts towards premises occupied by Jewish organizations is still quite substantial as well as number of cases of dissemination of anti-Semitic leaflets and graffiti.
Activity of Russian national-radicals is still high. Neo-Nazi groups that are actually active in every Russian megalopolis are structured, ideologically trained, technically equipped and orientate themselves toward most aggressive actions against representatives of ethnic minorities, foreigners and public figures-antifascists. The fact that anti-Semitic constituent occupies considerable place in ideology of radical nationalists, is demonstrated by availability of anti-Semitic slogans at Russian marches on November 4 and at Manezhnaya square on December 11, mentioning of Jewish fascists in appeal of so-called Primorye partisansâ. Interrogations of public opinion show that about a half of country population is infected by anti-Semitic prejudices to various extents.
Like during previous years, publication of anti-Semitic literature actively develops in Russia and, despite protests of human rights activists, literature of this kind is still sold quite freely at book fairs and in many respectable bookstores. Penetration of anti-Semitic theses into books pretending to be tutorials seems especially dangerous. Only two cases of this kind were recorded in 2010 but one can't be positive that these cases are single. A scandal with the textbook "History of Russia 1917-2009" written by professors of Moscow state university A. Barsenkov and A. Vdovin and containing some anti-Semitic stock phrases was the most notorious event of such kind. At the same time the story with mentioned textbook demonstrated demoralization of scientific community of historians: some of them (including dean of historical faculty of MSU S. Karpov) preferred avoiding to discuss the textbook and some of them, taking refuge in the notion of academic freedom, even spoke in defense of nationalistic textbook that is often based upon forged documents. The textbook was officially condemned just due to tough position of some members of expert commission formed by historical faculty of MSU.
Law-enforcement practice activates in Russia, the authority and society apprehend the problems of intolerance and hostility more realistically. More and more often representatives of federal and regional authority speak with condemnation of xenophobia and extremism problems. But this criticism is often of gentle or abstract character and does not lead to real actions. Besides, Russian authorities do not usually mark out anti-Semitism among other xenophobia manifestations, and so statements directed right at counteraction to anti-Semitism can be seldom met among tough anti-xenophobic statements regularly pronounced by authority representatives. In rare cases of direct statements connected with anti-Semitism subject, they relate mostly to the sphere of international politics – for example, in connection wwith attempts to rehabilitate Nazi collaborators in Baltic countries, in Ukraine. Suspended sentences are a considerable share of sentences passed in the sphere of law-enforcement practice on charges of xenophobic statements and actions. Like with the practice of inflicting penalties for sale of pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic produce, such sentences practically make no effect upon behavior of delinquents and criminals. Some judicial decisions can't be treated but like connivance to radical nationalists. On the other hand, in some cases law-enforcement bodies charge some persons with xenophobia and anti-Semitism without proper grounds.
Attacks and vandalism motivated by anti-Semitism
Number of attacks on Jews (or persons who were considered to be Jews by the assailants) was minimal in 2010: just 2 cases of this kind were recorded (as against 8 in 2009). This is the evidence, on one hand, of decline in level of anti-Semitism (total number of attacks motivated by xenophobia reduced approximately by 10% and number of the dead reduced almost two times), and on the other hand, of the fact that Jews, if they are not distinguished by clothes characteristic for believers, remain hard to be identified by most nationalists. Number of desecrations of Jewish graves is also minimal as compared with recent years – just one case was recorded.. However number of vandalism manifestations motivated by xenophobia at the cemeteries generally reduced abruptly – MBHR monitoring recorded just five succh cases. Probably the circumstance that the guilty are sentenced to real terms of imprisonment now also played its role. Number of cases of attacks on premises occupied by Jewish organizations (or vandalism manifestations towards these premises) still remains considerable: 13 attacks (29%) that had anti-Semitic motives were recorded from among total number of 45 attacks.
Like during previous years, numerous cases of dissemination of anti-Semitic leaflets and graffiti were recorded in 2010. Their specific weight in total number of recorded incidents of this kind is very high – 49 cases of 109 (45%), and this is the evidence of notable place of anti-Semitism in ideology of nationalists. Anti-Semites started using new methods – like for example threat to explode a theatre where the oppera "Hebrewess" had to be on. On January 9, 24 and 27 and on February 1, 3 and 16 anti-Semitic graffiti were recorded in Ulyanovsk. On January 24 in St. Petersburg two persons were detained who drew swastika and made inscription "We are back!".
On January 26 and 27 threatening phone calls to Yekaterinburg synagogue took place and on February 1 anti-Semitic graffiti were discovered near the synagogue.
On February 4 and 16 anti-Semitic graffiti were discovered in Tomsk.
On February 9 attack on a religious Jew was committed in Ulyanovsk.
On February 18 in Mikhailovsky theatre of St. Petersburg premiere of opera "Hebrewess" was postponed due to a threat of explosion: before the premiere unknown person phoned to the theatre and stated that "the theatre would explode before beginning of performance"
On February 26 it became known that in Naro-Fominsk town (Moscow region) unknown persons drew symbols similar to Nazi attributes.
In February-March 2010 in Khabarovsk drawing of xenophobic (anti-Semitic and anti-Caucasian) graffiti was recorded.
On March 12 it became known about drawing of swastika on the walls of several houses in Petrozavodsk.
On March 12 anti-Semitic graffiti were discovered on the wall of house in Izhevsk where the Community center of Jewish culture of Udmurt Republic is located.
On March 15 an inscription of extremist contents was made and swastika was drawn with a marker on the door of central entrance into financial-economical college of Yuryev-Polsky town (Vladimir region).
On March 17 anti-Semitic posters appeared in the streets of Tver where the following was written under a portrait of Chief rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar: "Remember that your main enemy is JEW! As soon as you see him – BEAT him at once!".
On March 21 in Nizhnedonskoy settlement (Rostov region) a monument to Lenin was spilled with paint and swastika was drawn on it.
On March 29 an imitation of bomb with swastika was found in St. Petersburg underground.
On April 20 in Petrozavodsk three students of local college and lyceum made nationalistic inscriptions in honor of Hitlers birthday on the walls of accommodation houses.
On April 20 in Ulyanovsk an inscription "Death to Jews" with drawing of swastika appeared in several city districts.
On April 21 in Shadrinsk town (Kurgan region) anti-Semitic graffiti were discovered on faĐ·ade of office building under construction.
In the evening of April 22 a group of persons made inscriptions and drawings with fascist symbols on the territory of Pavlovsk park (Leningrad region) with paint. Also inscriptions and drawings with fascist symbols were discovered on the structures of a bridge near Northern building of palace, on the walls of pavilion Cold bath, on uprights of gates with vases and at the slope to the bridge of Centaurs.
In April three drawings of swastika at least were discovered in Moscow.
In April in Mikhailovsk (Stavropol region) anti-Semitic inscriptions were made on a monument to Lenin.
On April 26 and June 12 in Tyumen a word "terrorist" and the Star of David were drawn on a monument to Lenin.
On May 5 it became known about discovering of swastika in Ulan-Ude, not far from the monument "Hospital Buryatia".
On May 9 and 10 two attacks on the synagogue in Ulyanovsk were committed.
On May 20 in Rostov-on-Don fans of Zenith who shouted anti-Semitic slogans had beaten an employee of TV channel "Russia Today" Roman Kosarev.
On May 28 visitors of Moscow superstores found stickers with drawing of swastika on cheeses and cottage cheese from Lithuania.
In June Ufa Jewish community center was desecrated.
On June 12 Nazi graffiti were discovered in Yaroslavl.
On June 17 criminal proceedings were instituted concerning the fact of drawing of fascist symbols in the form of swastika and Nazi slogans in Tosno town (Leningrad region) on the facade of a house near Samson shop.
On the night of June 21 homemade explosive device went off in Tver near synagogue building. As a result of explosion, entrance to the synagogue premises was partially destroyed.
On June 24 a synagogue in Krasnoyarsk was subject to an attack; as a result of attack, one of windows was broken.
On July 15 it became known that in Znamensk (Astrakhan region) a wall of building of kindergarten No 5 was covered with black paint with drawing of Nazi symbols in the form of swastika.
Early in August in St. Petersburg café "Call of Ilyich" Nazi swastika and inscriptions "Thief", "Killer", "Obscurant" were drawn on enormous advertising portraits of Lenin.
Early in August anti-Semitic graffiti were discovered near one of railway branch lines in Moscow.
On August 11 it became known about discovering of anti-Semitic graffiti in St. Petersburg.
On August 25 it became known that inscriptions and drawings of fascist symbols were discovered on the walls of one of shops and coach station of Malaya Purga village (Udmurtia).
On August 27 it became known that a monument to heroes-disaster fighters of disaster at Chernobyl NPP was desecrated with a drawing of swastika in Ryazan.
On August 29 it became known about discovering of Nazi graffiti drawn on children's sandpit in St. Petersburg in one of yards in the city outskirts. Graffiti were drawn two weeks earlier at least.
On August 30 in Kaliningrad unknown persons spilled a bronze bust of Karl Marx with paint and drew swastika and inscription "We are back" on pedestal.
On the night of August 30 unknown persons pelted the Sohnut building in Khabarovsk with stones. As a result, several windows were broken.
Late in August unknown persons drew fascist swastika with a subscription "We are back" a little below on a well-seen part of fence near an entrance to restaurant Akyar that is famous in Salavat (Bashkiria).
On September 19 an inscription "Power to Russians!"appeared across the street of building of Perm Legislative Assembly and red and white swastikas - right below it.
On September 27 in St. Petersburg at Nevsky avenue a resident of Moscow was detained who drew swastikas.
Late in September windows were broken in a house in Barnaul where rabbi Kamenetsky lives.
On October 5 it became known that swastika appeared on a garage belonging to a war veteran in Dimitrovgrad (Ulyanovsk region).
On October 12 anti-Semitic graffiti appeared on Barnaul synagogue again.
Early in October in Naberezhniye Chelny anti-Semitic leaflets were stuck.
On the night of October 18 in Kaliningrad unknown persons wrote anti-Semitic slogans all around the city center.
On October 26 it became known that in the center of Yekaterinburg dozens of trees in Green grove beloved by Yekaterinburg residents were covered with drawings of swastika and Nazi slogans.
Late in October a splash of xenophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti was recorded in Rybinsk.
On October 31 in St. Petersburg an inscription "Russia is for the tsar" and fascist swastika made with paint appeared on the wall of Alexandrinsky theatre.
In the morning of November 7 anti-Jewish inscriptions and drawings including drawing of crossed-out Star of David and inscriptions: "Death to yids!", "Holocaust is a tall tale", "Adolf was right!" were discovered on the wall near an entrance to synagogue located in the center of Barnaul. And an inscription "Take a long switch and turn the yid out to Palestine!" was made near an entrance to neighboring alcohol produce shop.
On November 7 in the center of Khomutovo settlement (Orel region), near district administration, unknown persons desecrated a memorial and a military burial place with inscriptions of fascist orientation. Fascist swastika was drawn on a pedestal of monument to V.I. Lenin.
In mid-November an inscription "Holocaust – this is fun" appeared on a facade of one of Nizhny Novgorod houses. Figures 14/88 – a code slogan of white nationalists – were placed side by side with the inscription.
Public actions of anti-Semitic orientation
On February 28 in Samara members of local Union of Russian People took part in meeting against growth of housing tariffs, duties and taxes. Chairman of URP branch stated in his speech that the events happening today – this is the "result of terrorist coup in 1917 when Zionists, Bolsheviks headed by Lenin-Blank, Leiba Bronshtein (Trotsky), Kaganovich and those of their ilk caught power in our country. Their name is Legion. This gang of killers overthrew legal authority that was given by God, killed the Tsar Nicolas II and his family ritually". This was followed by statements that those who are discontented with what's happening in Russia today are convicted under clause 282 of CC, and number of such convicts already reached several thousand; after that a demand of restoration of autocracy and "ethnically-thinking Russian authority" was advanced.
On April 25 in Moscow a meeting of nationalists for revocation of clause 282 of the Criminal code took place. Its organizers were: Party Motherland-Common sense (M. Delyagin), Russian Public Movement Peoples Council, Russian civil society, Russian verdict, Union of Russian People (B. Mironov), Resistance. The meeting manifesto written by T. Mironova (B. Mironov's wife) reproduced a myth that A. Koptsev who arranged a slaughter in synagogue at Bronnaya in 2006 allegedly inflicted some scratches on two Hebrews in synagogue under very strange circumstances. Anti-Semitic slogans were recorded at the meeting: nationalist V. Kralin noted in his blog that the meeting participants were "obsessed with speculative yid-freemason-Zionist" as an "establishing Other".
On May 5 in Revda town (Sverdlovsk region) local resident being drunk swung a flag with Nazi symbols at his balcony.
In July St. Petersburg nationalists from DPNI wanted to place banners on buses telling about defeat of Khazarian khaganate by Kiev prince Svyatoslav – this is interpreted by nationalists as a victory over Jewry. But advertising agency at the transport rejected their placing of corresponding poster "due to possible ambiguous public response to this layout".
On July 19 during the festival of pagans Ethnofest at the river Sok (Samara region) campfires in the form of swastika were made. After protests of participants, organizers decided to smooth out angles of swastika.
On November 4 colonel V. Kvachkov stated in his speech at Moscow 'Russian march': "398th anniversary of victory over Yid-Polish-Swedish yoke is celebrated today. We drove Swedes and Poles away from Kremlin. Who stayed there? Yids!", the crowd responded. The slogans screamed out by the march participants included also "Death to yids!". Frankly anti-Semitic slogans were heard also at the 'Russian march' in St. Petersburg: "Tolerance is a weapon of world Zionism", "No to new Khazaria".
On November 7 quite a few anti-Semitic slogans were recorded at the meeting of veterans of airborne troops at Poklonnaya hill: "Khazarian khaganate would not succeed", "Jewish fascism! There is nothing more terrible today!".
On December 11 at Manezhnaya square anti-Semitic slogans were also recorded. Those assembled chanted: "Down with Jewish authority!" and an inscription "Beat the yids!" appeared on the wall of entrance lobby of trade complex 'Okhotny ryad'.
Popularity of anti-Semitic views
According to the data of interrogation conducted by research agency Bashkirova and partners and published on May 13, 2010, 25% of Russians do not agree to live side by side with Jews. However there are also more undesirable neighbors than Jews (these are homosexuals (66%), Gypsies (60%) and labor migrants (40%)). On the other hand, 40% did not desire to have left and right radicals as their neighbors.
According to VTsIOM interrogation the data of which were published on August 27, 2010, 46% of Russians showed dislike of the idea that their relatives would marry Jews answering a question about interethnic marriages. Though the idea of a Jew-spouse causes less dislike than a prospect of marrying Chechens (65%), Arabs (63%), natives of Central Asia (60%), such a high index is an evidence of wide-spread popularity of anti-Semitic phobias in the society.
Anti-Semitism manifestations on the part of authorities
Anti-Semitic statements were mostly committed by KPRF representatives.
On April 17 deputy of the State Duma from KPRF Alexey Bagaryakov placed an article devoted to a "Jewish problem" on official KPRF website. He noted that "due to their nature, the Jews have high intellect and inventiveness. But is not just for to this reason that they achieve big successes in business and public service: a feature characteristic for the Jews plays considerable role here – mutual support in career promotion". Then the parliamentarian lamented that "the Jews are about 2% of total population size of Russia but at the same time they occupy key positions in the state, business and creative sphere". "The rest of population, its biggest part, and first of all a native nation – Russians – can't but feel alerted by this", A. Bagaryakov stated. The article caused such a celebrated scandal that it was removed from website soon.
On June 4 KPRF leader G. Zyuganov sent a telegram to the Chairman of St. Petersburg court V. Yepifanova in support of convict nationalist K. Dushenov trying to press upon the court on the eve of examination of Dushenov's cassational appeal.
Use of anti-Semitism in election campaigning
Opponents of the famous nationalist V. Alxnis who ran for a position of the head of Tuchkovo settlement near Moscow in March 2010 played the card of anti-Semitism. He was called both Jew-Hassid and Lett fascist and Lett Gauleiter, they wrote that hatred towards Russians is implanted tight in genes of Letts. The slogan "Stand for protection of Tuchkovo from aliens and heterodoxies" was one of the most wide-spread at these posters. However this propaganda did not prevent Alxnis from winning the election.
Anti-Semitic books and publications in mass media
On January 27 on website 'Russian line' an interview of the Jew-anti-Semite I. Shamir appeared who announced that the Holocaust allegedly turned into some "secular religion" and became "part of total victory of absolutely new ultra-liberal paradigm based upon denial of rights of majority to please rights of minorities".
"I don't see a connection of holocaust with any real events of time of the Second World War but I see that the holocaust is connected with ideological turnabout nowadays", I. Shamir stated. On January 28 the interview was reproduced by website 'IslamNews'.
Early in February 2009 so-called 'Russian informational center' headed by famous racist A. Savelyev issued its next annual report "Russo-phobia in Russia. 2009". Anti-Semitic propaganda became an element of A. Savelyev's report: allegedly Judaism leads to abyss for an Orthodox Christian person – not just to "destructive state" but to destruction of everything that is holy in the man, to destruction of soul. Absolutely unreliable data about service of "up to 150 thousand"Jews in Wehrmacht were presented in the report as well as a fraud that was disclosed long ago about 10 thousand Jews that were taken prisoners by the Soviet army during the Great Patriotic war (it fact these were members of so-called 'workers' battalions of Hungarian army who mostly went over to the Soviet army themselves).
On February 1 in 'Komsomolskaya pravda' an interview was published taken by journalist D. Steshin from the head of European Jewish congress Vyacheslav Kantor. In this interview Steshin tried to impress on the reader that international Jewish organizations do not speak with condemnation of patronage of former Nazis on the part of Baltic countries. In the record in his blog that was made on the same day Steshin stated that theft of signboard from gates of concentration camp Auschwitz was a "PR-campaign that was cunningly started on the eve of liberation of Oswiencim".
On March 31 on forum of Orthodox fundamentalists 'rusidea.org' one of its participants accused the "world qahal" that arranged "ritual slaughter", of arrangement of terrorist acts in underground on March 29.
On April 8 writer-nationalist Alexander Prokhanov, speaking on the radio Echo of Moscow, reproduced calumnious anti-Semitic stock phrase that using Holocaust "pressure, exploitation and control of the whole continents" take place: at the same time Prokhanov underestimated number of victims of the Holocaust two times.
On April 18 Orthodox fundamentalist M. Nazarov saw a "Jewish hand" in death of the President of Poland L. Kaczynski on April 9 with the grounds that a delegation of rabbis had to fly together with Kaczynski, and they refused to fly on the last moment. On April 24 he also accused the "world coulisse" inspired by anti-Christian ideas, of genocide of Armenians.
On June 8 an appeal to colonel Kvachkov on behalf of so-called 'Primorye partisans' appeared on the Internet. This appeal – Kvachkov hastily dissociated himself from it – stated: "We are dying to suffer from outrage of the world coulisse that does terror on our land. … We, special mission units of airborne troops, rose for armed struggle against occupants of our country. We already carry on armed struggle against them KILLING THESE CORRUPT LOUSES … We rose against Jewish fascism like our glorious grandfathers and fathers rose in 1941 against German occupants …". This document seemingly devoted to the problems that are far from Jewry demonstrates visually the extent of integration of anti-Semitism into nationalists' outlook.
On August 19 M. Nazarov placed an article on his website devoted to anniversary of Antonov's uprising in Tambov province where he stated: peasants' uprisings during the Civil war were of anti-Semitic character as "the Jews often headed food detachments and anti-church commissions". A little below M. Nazarov writes about commissars Â«that were trained on Talmud and 'Shulchan Aruch'», "yids-commissars" and "Russian Holocaust" arranged by Jews.
Early in July on some nationalistic websites and blogs publications appeared devoted to supposed anniversary of defeat (on July 3, 964) of Khazarian khaganate by Kiev prince Svyatoslav (946-972) that is interpreted by nationalists as victory over Jewry. â€śJudaicâ€ť and allegedly â€śparasiticâ€ť character of Khazaria and its orientation on selling Slavic slaves were stressed. Thus the readers' impression was created that Jews were set against Russians with enmity long since. "On this day, from now on and forever, we – Russians - would celebrate the Victory day over Judaic Khazariia. This Victory made possible further existence itself and physical survival of Russian people", one of articles stated.
On July 5 and 6 in two articles that were published on website of prohibited organization 'Slavic union' an accent was also made upon parasitic character of Khazaria and Judaism of its rulers. Proscription of Jews from some countries was called a "fair ethnic policy of reasonable rulers".
On September 16 a scandal broke out in Perm when it turned out that stickers with Hitler saying "We would conquer Russia when Ukrainians and Byelorussians believe they are not Russians" were stuck in public transport within the project 'Wisdom of the world' implemented with support of city culture committee. However the authorities removed stickers from transport operatively and confiscated the rest of copies from the campaign organizers.
Penetration of anti-Semitism into books pretending to a title of educational literature can be noted. Early in the year a scandal broke out around two-volume edition 'History of Russia'. 20th century published being edited by professor of Moscow institute of foreign relations A. Zubov. The textbook uses various myths, historical and pseudo-historical patterns created within the White movement and Russian emigrants including frankly anti-Semitic ones. The textbook section titled 'Jews in Civil war' begins from the words: "Considerable part of commissars and chekists who conducted the red terror were Jews". Reservation that most of Russian Jewry were as far from Communists as most of other peoples of Russia is actually leveled by the following passages that actually repeat White Guardists' anti-Semitic propaganda: "But under conditions of civil war in Russia, especially in its Southern regions, in Ukraine, at Don and in Bessarabia where traditions of anti-Semitism were quite strong, it was the very participation of Jews in the red terror that caused special hatred of population. And the Bolsheviks that paid no attention to such 'trifles' as nationality of their commissars just poured oil on the flame. For example, in Kiev extraordinary commission that was notorious due to its sadistic mass cruelties, Bolsheviks-Jews made up three quarters of 'personnel'. Being alienated from Jewish community, these people however tried to spare their congeners due to numerous ties of relationship, and this could not but increase anti-Semitism of Ukrainians. Commissars Kogan and Rutgaizer were appointed even to positions connected with control over the church in Kiev, and it was prohibited to baptize, marry and bury according to Orthodox ritual without their permission". For justification of participation of soldiers of the White army in pogroms, it is diffidently noted in the book that far from all the soldiers and officers of White armies could 'distinguish criminals-commissars from Jewry innocent of any crime' and a mellow picture of combat of white command against pogroms in the South is drawn (then the question remains undecided – how numerous pogroms committed by the White armmy could take place?). At the same time number of victims of pogroms is underestimated by the textbook authors four times at least (it should be noted that this tutorial is already used in two seminaries of Russian Orthodox church).
A. Zubov, in his controversy with A. Krasilshchikov who collected memoirs about Jewish pogroms arranged by Cossacks from Mamontov's corps during their raid along the rears of the Red army in 1919, stated that idea of "general extermination of Jews in the zone of actions of general Mamontov's corps is a doubtless and very big exaggeration". He reproduced an anti-Semitic myth presented in the textbook that "some Soviets, punitive squads and extraordinary commission departments in Ukraine, at Don and in Crimea were Jewish up to three quarters-four fifths" though he admitted that overwhelming majority of Jews of Russia were not with Bolsheviks.
On February 18 it turned out that St. Petersburg state university of communication lines included a work by nationalist Yu. Mukhin Harassment: "who doesn't like patriots" (M.: 2009) into the book list when purchasing books for scientific-technical library.
On March 10-15 at VVTs in Moscow an exhibition-fair 'Books of Russia' took place. Despite special statement of organizing committee of the exhibition that appealed "to show respectful attitude towards ethnic and religious feelings of colleagues and visitors allowing no exposition and sale of books propagating ethnic and religious intolerance", long-term regretful tradition of use of book fairs for propaganda of xenophobia was continued. The fair participants included publishing house 'Russian truth' that suggested anti-Semitic and racist literature for sale. At the stand of another publishing house, 'Algorithm', books by radical nationalist B. Mironov convicted for incitement of ethnic dissension several years ago, by publicist O. Platonov who is 'denouncing' allegedly existing "Jewish conspiracy" for many years, Holocaust denier Yu. Graf, anti-Semite I. Shamir were sold.
On April 1 it became known that the book by Hitler 'Mein Kampf' was included into section "Necessary materials for students" on website of historical faculty of Omsk state university. Going along the provided link, one can easily download full text of the book without any comments and restrictions.
Early in July a scandal broke out around the textbook 'History of Russia 1917-2009' by A. Barsenkov and A. Vdovin containing a number of anti-Semitic stock phrases about 'Jewish domination' in the USSR, about deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 for clearing place for planned Jewish republic etc.. A. Vdovin himself hurried to state that the textbook includes "just reliable facts and " and that he "treated the Jewish problem very carefully". However the scandal went on in autumn and finished with a decision of Academic Council of MSU about withdrawal of the textbook (see below).
On September 1-6, at Moscow international book exhibition-fair that took place, xenophobic literature was broadly presented. It was sold at stands of publishing houses 'Alva First', 'Algorithmâ', 'White alvas', 'Book world', 'Russian truth', 'Encyclopedia of Russian civilization'. The 'novelties' included a book by Black-Hundreder P. Bulatsel "Combat for truth", book by ex-leader of DPNI A. Belov (Potkin) "Kondopoga forever", issue 2 of journal "Problems of nationalism". Management of Moscow international book exhibition-fair traditionally took no steps able to protect the international book fair from turning into a center of propaganda of hatred.
Anti-Semitism in religious sphere
Consistently anti-Semitic position is occupied by bishop of Syktyvkar and Vorkuta Pitirim who obviously aspires to occupy a position of leader of radical wing in Russian Orthodox church (ROC).
On January 26 bishop Pitirim stated that he did not agree with warning of office of public prosecutor to the newspaper 'Eparchial bulletin' about inadmissibility of extremist activity for anti-sectarian publication. The bishop stated: "We will take a firm stand, we will go to death but we would not reject the Holy tradition. And it's a fun that trials are arranged against us following such warnings. So we do not agree. Or let them remove Korans and Talmuds then".
On August 28, speaking at eparchial conference 'God and the world evil in aspects of world globalization', the bishop made an example of participation of a member of 'yid-freemasonic lodge' Andrey Bogdanov in presidential election in Russia for confirmation of a thesis of "activation of dark forces of the world coulisse". And discussing the relations of the Orthodox with the non-Orthodox the bishop, quoting St. John Chrysostom, called for resisting the evil by force and, meeting "yid or heretic", for "sanctifying your hand with a wound and beating him into his lips or into his cheek".
However bishop Pitirim is not alone in his statements. After the anti-Semitic almanac 'Third Rome' published by the organization RONS was acknowledged an extremist material, press secretary of Vladimir-Suzdal eparchy archimandrite Innocentius (Yakovlev) stood up for it.
In March-April in Yekaterinburg confrontation started concerning restoration of St. Catherine temple at Labor square. On March 31 deputy of Yekaterinburg city Duma Kabanov cited in the news of TV agency of Ural (TAU) his conversation with organizer of protests against construction of the church L. Volkov: "… do you imagine what people would ssay about you – that ones, an international gang of Russians and Jews and impossible to understand who else, came, destroyed the temple and killed the priest. I asked him what was his nationality – Jew – and do you imagine that people woulould say then that another Jew came and did not let build – would this be normal for you?".
On May 9 archbishop of Russian Orthodox church (one of churches being alternative to ROC) Viktor (Pivovarov) stated in his sermon: "Is it a holiday for us Russian people – May 9? This day is a tragedy … For the sake of what did the war begin? Because Stalin was preparing to attack Germany. It was already Trotsky who made an attack on Poland. He wanted to occupy Warsaw, Berlin and make an axis of the 'great revolution'. And he received a good beating there, and there was silence then. But they were preparing to occupy Berlin anyway. And this was the very reason for starting of war. And as for Hitler … these are two rabid dogs – Nazism and Bolshevism – that came to blows, and the whole world was dipped into grieve, and blood, and tears. And so what is this 'victory'? Even if Hitler would win, it would be better. We would not bear him for a long time – a foreigner. What kind of 'freedom' we have? No freedom, the same crucifiers are a burden to Russian people, they just had changed color, and that's all". Speaking about 'crucifiers' V. Pivovarov evidently meant Jews.
Use of pseudo-human rights rhetoric by nationalists
Examination of the tutorial by professors of MSU A. Barsenkov and A. Vdovin initiated by the Public chamber became the main object of pseudo-human rights rhetoric on the part of nationalists and their situational allies from among Communists.
As the protectors of the textbook could not refute eloquent citations from it, they preferred another way: to create a picture of 'defamation of Russian scientists' being false but attractive for some part of public, to force panic with their statements about total restriction of freedom of speech and possible danger for A. Vdovin's life, to draw parallels between actions of totalitarian regimes and activity of PC of RF, they tried to create a negative portrait of Nikolay Svanidze heading the Commission of the Public chamber. Anti-Semitic notes also slipped out in this campaign though they were quite subdued as its organizers tried to look respectably and gain public support.
On September 7 Ye. Kholmogorov stated in his comment for nationalistic web-portal APN about revival of some "dual ethnocracy" in connection with "case of Barsenkov-Vdovin (it became clear from further words of Mr. Kholmogorov that speaking about 'ethnocracy' he meant Jews and Chechens who allegedly control Russian authority), and this 'ethocracy' allegedly "acted quite effectively against Russia and Russians in 1995-1999".
On September 8 nationalist K. Krylov ascribed a confession to the lawyer M. Musayev (who won excuses due to anti-Chechen passages in their book from Vdovin and Barsenkov) that Chechens are allegedly Â«used against us by "the nation that is greatest in the world"» (i.e. by Jews).
On September 13, at open public hearings 'Russian history of 20th century – freedom of research or freedom of persecution?', editor of journal 'Problems of nationalism' Sergey Sergeyev stated that Vdovin was attacked as a "Russian historian" and that support of Vdovin is an "ethnic matter". He accused representatives of "two corporations – Jewish and Chechen that united here" of attack and added: "Combat of ethnic corporations (mafias) against Russian culture is on" .
'Union of Russian People', after passing sentence on K. Dushenov, published a statement where Dushenov's actions were interpreted as "resistance to the evil". Statement authors demanded "to stop issuing warnings and instituting criminal proceedings under clause 282 for expression of Orthodox doctrine" (i.e. for anti-Semitic statements covered up by words about Orthodoxy), and to include Judaic literature into Federal list of extremist materials as they consider it to be misanthropic. They also demanded to include URP member V. Osipov in Expert council under Ministry of justice of RF for conduction of the state expert examination based upon religious studies.
Response of authorities to anti-Semitism manifestations
Russian authorities usually do not distinguish anti-Semitism among other xenophobia manifestations so statements aimed right at counteraction to anti-Semitism almost can't be met among regular pronounced tough anti-xenophobic statements of authority representatives. In rare cases of direct statements connected with anti-Semitism subject they relate predominantly to the sphere of international politics – for example, in connectioon with attempts of rehabilitation of Nazi collaborators in Baltic countries, in Ukraine.
On January 26 member of the Federation Council Vladimir Slutsker informed that a detailed diary of Oswiencim prisoner Zalman Gradovsky who worked in sonderkommand that burned corpses of prisoners, was prepared for publication on the occasion of 65th anniversary of liberation of concentration camp by Soviet troops. The senator took part in international conference that took place in Polish Krakow with participation of deputies of national parliaments. Main subject of the conference is non-admission of revision of history and revival of fascism on the European continent.
"A decision was made at the conference that united more than 150 parliamentarians from 30 European countries that Gradovsky's diary would be translated into other European languages and published in several countries of Europe", Slutsker stated. It is noted in the conference resolution that "Gradovsky's records are a shocking truth told by eye-witness of tragedy about daily practice and monstrous technology of genocide arranged by Nazis". The diary of Oswiencim prisoner can be ranked among most important documentary evidences of the Holocaust, the senator noted. The book was prepared for publication in Russian by historians within the project of international parliamentary organization uniting deputies of national parliaments of European countries responsible for bilateral ties with Israel.
On January 27, on the International day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the President of RF Dmitry Medvedev sent a message to participants of memorial activities devoted to 65th anniversary of liberation of concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau ('Oswiencim'). It was told in the message of the President of Russia: "Generations that did not see horrors of war must know about them. And we must all understand what exorbitant price the mankind paid for connivance to xenophobia and chauvinism. To remember that six million people were killed due to their nationality – just due to the fact that they were Jews. Acccording to the plan of fascists, their fate had to be repeated by one third of population of occupied territories at least. Already 65 years passed since the time when fascism was defeated but the voices of those who try to justify crimes of Nazis, rank victims with butchers, liberators with occupants are still heard. And some countries go even further – they make heroes of Nazi accomplices. SSuch attempts of revision of history are inadmissible, and we must unite our efforts in combat with them. We must know resolutely that indifference, nonchalance, the same like oblivion of lessons of the history, finally lead to tragedies and crimes. And trust and mutual assistance permit withstanding the most dangerous threats … Tragedy of the World War II remains a bittter warning today. Protection of peace and freedom on our planet is in our hands. And we are all responsible together for this in front of current and future generations".
On the same day the governor of Bryansk region Nikolay Denin met the head of Bryansk regional Jewish community-charitable center Hesed Tikva Irina Chernyak. " present my frank condolences. We will always hold sacred the memory of those who died during the years of the World War II. We will do our best to make anti-Semitism, falsification of history go to the past forever", N. Denin stated. Strengthening of inter-religious relations, assistance of local authorities to the Hebrew community of the city, contribution of Hesed Tikva center into development of social sphere and culture were discussed during the meeting.
On February 10 the President of RF D. Medvedev sent his congratulation to employees and veterans of Ministry of foreign affairs of RF on the occasion of the Day of diplomatic employee giving diplomats the tasks to assist in modernization of the country and counteract attempts of falsification of history. In the opinion of D. Medvedev, it is necessary to determine the position of Russia on this problem more toughly and talk with the partners directly "on the problems connected with rehabilitation and glorification of people who are criminals in fact". In his opinion, the dialogue with the countries that rehabilitate and glorify fascism should be maintained without punctual diplomatic formulas.
On March 9 press secretary of permanent representation of RF under UN Ruslan Bakhtin stated that Russia considers any attempts of making heroes of accomplices of Nazism, including former legionaries of 'Waffen SS', inadmissible. "For any state devoted to ideals of democracy and humanism, the attempts of making heroes of accomplices of fascism should be inadmissible – be it former legionaries of organization Waffen SS or other collaborators who exterminated hundreds thousands peaceful civilians, prisoners of war and prisoners of death camps", the Russian diplomat said at the presentation of encyclopedia 'Holocaust on the territory of the USSR' in UN headquarters.
On April 5 mayor of Chita Anatoly Mikhalyov during his press conference condemned cases of appearing of drawn swastikas in the streets of the city: "I would like very much that a person who drew this sign, not all the people but this person alone, would live through what our fathers and grandfathers lived through: would go through Buchenwald, starve, see how fascists execute old folk and children … Then he would never taake a brush again". "If this is a boyish folly and hooliganism this is one side", the head of the city noted concerning appearing of graphic drawings of swastikas on buildings and historical monuments. "But if this is done by anybody consciously and deliberately then this is pure vandalism. If children draw these signs then it means we work insufficiently in upbringing. Despite just half page is devoted to events of the Great Patriotic war in today's textbooks, we should bring this understanding to young generation ourselves", A. Mikhalyov stated.
On April 8 employees of Directorate of Federal service of bailiffs for Ryazan region, on the initiative of leaders, painted over drawings of swastikas that were discovered not far from the building. On May 7 the President of RF D. Medvedev stated in his interview to zvestia newspaper: "In Europe, in many countries, rehabilitation of fascists takes place. Some monsters are even found in our country trying to use Nazi symbols and hold various assemblages under such slogans".
Public against anti-Semitism
The highest activity in withstanding anti-Semitism among public organizations is shown by Jewish community itself.
On January 26 the chief rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar stressed at the meeting with the Prime-minister Vladimir Putin: "In general we think this is a very big business now when we are on the threshold of January 27. We Jews would never forget what the Soviet army did for us during the World War II. We must stress this distinctly and tell what happened in reality. Because unfortunately what we see and what happened in Ukraine during recent days – this is horrible. This is really inadmissible for us.. And we will help to explain these matters so that it would be clear what happened then … Nazism – this is bad not just because they killed people but becausse they killed and justified their actions. Those who helped them – what really haappened in Baltic region, what happened in Ukraine – local population took parrt in extermination of Jews. That was not that Nazis came and people resisted. There were people there who really did a lot but it was the state that helped in general. So when today they try to speak again that they have their own history – this is horrible".
On January 27 Federation of Jewish communities of Russia published a statement on the occasion of International day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust:
"On the day of liberation of concentration camp Oswiencim by the Soviet army, on the threshold of 65th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic war the words of representatives of Baltic region countries, Ukraine and other European countries that Hitler's Nazi regime was identical to the political system that existed in the Soviet Union when Stalin was in power, sound especially blasphemously. The Jewish community considers this tendency to be a serious threat for preservation of memory about the Holocaust as equalization of Nazi crimes and crimes of Stalin's regime obviously has the purpose to release the countries the population of which actively participated in extermination of their own Jewish minority, from liability. We think that such policy is a part of efforts for creation of historical and intellectual infrastructure aimed at undermining and finally canceling the existing view of uniqueness of the Holocaust in history of mankind as genocide, marginalizing this unique historical event. This phenomenon is especially notable in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia for obvious reasons as residents of these countries cooperated especially strongly with Germans during the World War II. This campaign uniting victims of the Holocaust and Communism is an obvious attempt to put a shadow upon complicated history of murders of their own Jewish population and is used by them as a trick for washing out a stain of mass collaborationism … One can dispute much about negative consequencess of the Victory for Baltic region countries and some part of eastern Europe but one can't deny that actions of SS troops and their accomplices on the territories occupied by Nazis were criminal. It's obvious that even partial rehabilitation of Nazism would become the recognition of admissibility of existence and implementation of any extremist, terrorist ideology. The fact that authorities of some former USSR republics and political figures of these states consider it admissible to support openly the processions of SS veterans, placing of monuments to Nazis or revival of frankly fascist organizations – in our opinion this is equal to greeting of activity of modern extremist and terroristic groups the ideas and methods of which are as inhuman, and this is as big threat for the world as Nazism was at that time. Attempts to revise the results of the World War II and history of Catastrophe of European Jewry still continue on the part of such states as Ukraine, Baltic countries. Iran continues the odious course of its president Mahmud Ahmadinejad".
"We call upon the governments of Baltic countries, Ukraine and all those countries that try to falsify the results of the World War II, to giving independent estimation of facts of extermination of peaceful civilians of their countries by German-fascist troops and of collaborationism during the war. The Jewish community of Russia calls upon the world community to formulating its opinion distinctly and to condemning revision of history of the World War II within UN by a special resolution against collaborationism and Nazi regimes. It would be expedient to do this also on the level of heads of governments of some world powers. In our opinion the UN resolution should not just condemn fascism but make all the political figures rehabilitating it entirely or partially, personas non grata", the statement said.
On the same day, January 27, mourning meeting took place in Birobidjan devoted to International day of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The meeting was participated by chairman of Council of Jewish communities of Far East Valery Gurevich, officials, members of club of former minor prisoners of ghetto, pedagogical public, schoolchildren, students, and synagogue congregation. "We must not forget about this tragedy, only memory can save us from similar horrors in future, Valery Gurevich said. We have no right to rewrite history to please timeserving interests of some political groups that want to make liberators from enemies of the mankind. This is a blasphemy when homage is rendered to former SS members, when national heroes are made of traitors of their people". "The Holocaust reminds us not just about tragedy of Jewish people, director of regional institute of advanced pedagogical studies Tatyana Fain stated. There is nothing more terrible than policy of state anti-Semitism, raising of some race, ethnos or nationality. The World War II proved this. Not just Jews but also Slavs, Gypsies and other peoples were subject to extermination. And we mustn't forget for a minute about this understanding well that just in atmosphere of tolerance, openness and respect to all the cultures we would secure ourselves from such terrible phenomena as anti-Semitism and nationalism". Each of those present put a stone of grieve to the obelisk in the yard of community center in commemoration of people who died in fascist concentration camps. On January 27 in district library of Priargunsk town (Chita region) opening of exposition 'Great Patriotic war with the eyes of children-prisoners of fascist camps' took place. The exposition worked for a whole year. And on Victory day it was presented to all the residents of Priargunsk at one of mass activities.
On February 1 it became known that the work of hot line on anti-Semitism recommenced under Jewish community of Nizhny Novgorod synagogue.
On February 11 in Syktyvkar, in the premises of Jewish ethnic-cultural autonomy of Komi, a film about neo-Nazis "Russia 88" was shown.
On March 4 the chief rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar, during the meeting with the minister of regional development Viktor Basargin, spoke with an idea to approve the day of liberation of Oswiencim, January 27, as a nationwide memorial date. "When we would mark the anniversary of liberation of Oswiencim officially, on the state level, this would be both a reminder about feat of Russia in destruction of Nazism and at the same time an efficient weapon in combat with xenophobia that is really one of main threats for Russian society", the rabbi stated. During the meeting of the rabbi and the minister the problems of support of legal bureaus of Jewish community of Russia involved into monitoring of nationalism and xenophobia, by the Ministry of regional development were also discussed. An agreement was reached that the Jewish community of Russia would present its suggestions on combat against xenophobia to the ministry.
On March 9 the Federation of Jewish communities of Russia made a statement concerning unprecedented number of cases of rehabilitation of Nazism and Nazi criminals in the European countries. The FEOR statement said in particular: "Our concern is caused by decision of government of Moldavia to equate Soviet soldiers-liberators and supporters of marshal Antonescu who fought on the side of Hitler's Germany and to arrange celebrations in honor of them equally (the authorities incline to award both veterans of the Great Patriotic war and persons who fought within occupational Romanian army with jubilee medals) … March processions of veterans of Waffen SS llegion in Latvia became regular. Processions of former legionaries of Lettish Waffen SS legion are held in Latvia since 1994 … At the same time court of Laatvia acquits one of leaders of local neo-Nazis Andris Jordans who was sentenced in 2008 to 2-year imprisonment for incitement of ethnic dissension". "We call again upon the leaders of European Union and UN to assessing adequately this 'silent indifference' on the part of such European countries as Latvia, Moldavia, Estonia and Ukraine", the statement summarized.
On March 16 more than 300 activists of youth movements 'The ours' and 'The locals' held a picket near the building of embassy of Latvia in Moscow opposing holding of march of veterans of Waffen SS legion in Riga and appeals of neo-Nazis to deport Russian-speaking population of the republic. The picket participants dressed in uniform of Soviet soldiers brought the photos of those who perished from Nazis during the World War II, to the embassy. After the meeting activists of movement The ours went to representation of the European Union in Moscow and passed a letter with request to pay attention to fascism manifestations in Latvia to its employees.
On March 24 representatives of 'Young Guard' of United Russia in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk painted over swastikas at bus stops.
On March 25 it became known about creation of free telephone advice bureau for victims of ethnic discrimination and anti-Semitism by Federal Jewish ethnic-cultural autonomy (FENKA) with support of the Public chamber of RF in Moscow.
On April 2 on website of Chita forum 'Drom.ru' a photo of monument located at the drive to Chita was placed – unknnown persons desecrated it with a drawing of swastika and inscription "Shulds", forum activists put the monument in order.
On April 20 youth movement 'The ours' arranged anti-fascist patrols in Moscow. The Jewish center at Savyolovskaya and central synagogue of Moscow 'Beis Menahem' became the objects of patrolling.
On April 21 the head of Ryazan Jewish community Lyudmila Zakharova, on the invitation of city library named after Yesenin, took part in activity for junior school teachers "Upbringing of tolerance of junior schoolchildren". L. Zakharova told the pedagogues who were present about work of ethnic communities including the Jewish one with schools and teachers, about recent activity "Day of commemoration of concentration camp prisoners" and showing of film "Kiselyov's list" for children of 7-8th classes, about interethnic concerts and football and a great deal else. She said in particular: "Future of our country, life of our children and grandchildren depend on you and on quality of your work. Ethnic communities are ready to work with you over upbringing of good and respect to representatives of other peoples in young generation".
On April 23 in exhibition hall Manezh of Kazan Kremlin a ceremony of opening of republican pedagogical workshop "Lessons of the Holocaust – a way to tolerance" took place. Workshopps of this kind take place all around Russian within the target program of fund Holocaust with support of grant of the President of RF Dmitry Medvedev. The objective of forum is the acquaintance of school pedagogues with methods of teaching of the Holocaust subject as well as with necessity of its teaching within studying of the Great Patriotic war.
On June 22 in Ulyanovsk supporters of party United Russia held an action 'AntiFa' they painted over drawings of Nazi symbols. St. George bands were drawn on the places of fascist symbols.
On June 23 the 'Day of memory and grieve' of Stavropol Jewish community took place in the forest where the Jews were executed in August 1942.
On September 6 in the Public chamber of Russia a meeting of Commission on interethnic relations and freedom of conscience took place presided by Nikolay Svanidze. The meeting was devoted to textbook by A. Barsenkov and A. Vdovin 'History of Russia. 1917-2009' containing direct anti-Semitic passages. At the same time the textbook was approved by educational-methodic association of Ministry of education and received the classification"recommended".
Expert of Moscow anti-fascist center and Moscow bureau for human rights Viktor Dashevsky noted that the tutorial had "three and a half" editions (first edition, 2002, covered the period of 1938-2001) and "spread broadly". "It is popular, school teachers read it", Dashevsky stressed. The expert also stressed that the book is partially based upon forged documents including notorious 'Dulles Plan' allegedly developed in 1945. Summarizing the meeting, Nikolay Svanidze thanked all those who spoke and noted that the final document of hearings would be sent to the Ministry of education, Office of general public prosecutor, and Presidential Commission of counteraction to attempts of falsification of history.
On September 15 the Academic council of historical faculty of MSU named after M.V. Lomonosov published its decision concerning the situation with the tutorial by A. Barsenkov and A. Vdovin. "The authors' tutorial … does not reflect the position of the Accademic council concerning some facts and assessments contained in the edition. The tutorial text contains facts causing doubt of their reliability", the document stressed. At the same time the Academic council "expressed the concern" that "the discussion of authors" tutorial by professors A.S. Barsenkov and A.I. Vdovin exceeded the bounds of a scientific discussion and takes place with politicized, politically commented assessments and in some cases became a tool of PR-campaigns. In our opinion, the discussion should be held first of all within a skilled scientific expert examination". According to decision of the Council, expert commission was created presided by academician of RAS, professor Yu.S. Kukushkin.
On September 17 appeal of some human rights activists and cultural figures appeared in support of N. Svanidze. The statement titled "Textbooks should not sow hatred" noted that recently 'real campaign started for harassment' of Nikolay Svanidze. The meeting of the Public chamber on September 6 and suggestion to appeal to the office of public prosecutor concerning signs of incitement of interethnic hostility and dissension in the textbook by A. Barsenkov and A. Vdovin arranged by N. Svanidze became a cause for harassment. "In fact the campaign is based upon the strongest irritation about consistent anti-totalitarian and anti-chauvinist position of historian and journalist Svanidze … Even brief acquaintance with this 'tutorial' shows that in some moments it is biased, extremely prejudiced, and it does not suit to be a tutorial already from this point of view. But it is also most questionable and dangerous, would it be even a usual historiosophic work of some quality Policy that had led to crimes against humanity, to repressions, to ethnic, religious or social discrimination can't be approved in textbooks anyway. But these are such attacks on some ethnoses, almost open substantiation of ethnic discrimination and political repressions that are contained in some ways in the scandalous tutorial … So this textbook should be a subject of not a scientificc discussion but of a studying from the point of view of availability of propaganda of hatred … Unfortunately pseudo-scientific works saturated with xenophobia aare broadly published in Russia for already 20 years, and this played some role in considerable popularity of fascist moods, in committing of big number of murders and other crimes motivated by ethnic and ideological hatred. We are positive that there shouldn't be any protection of misanthropic policy in textbooks. We also think that prevention of publication of works of this kind breaking the Constitution of RF is a very important task of civil society today", the appeal summarized. It was signed by writer B. Strugatsky, Ye. Bonner, human rights activists L. Alexeyeva, S. Gannushkina, L. Ponomaryov, S. Kovalyov, V. Borshchov, writers and journalists L. Grafova, N. Katerli etc.
On September 20 the President of Federation of Jewish communities of Russia A.M. Boroda sent a letter addressed to the rector of MSU V.A. Sadovnichy in connection with publication of tutorial by A.S. Barsenkov and A.I. Vdovin 'History of Russia. 1917-2009'. The letter stated: "Jewish community of Russia watches the teaching activity of professors of MSU A.S. Barsenkov and A.I. Vdovin with concern for already long time. Nationalistic and biased position of above-mentioned lecturers in assessment of modern history of Russia caused our concern and perplexity. The tutorial by A.S. Barsenkov and A.I. Vdovin 'History of Russia. 1917-2009' (M.: ASPECT-PRESS, 2010) became the most recent and probably most scandalous. Position of Federation of Jewish communities of Russia is completely united with the opinion of public which called this textbook extremist literature creating conditions for incitement of interethnic hatred in our multi-ethnic state. FEOR requests from you, esteemed Viktor Antonovich, to hold an internal investigation of this fact and take necessary measures as far as possible for suppression of anti-Semitic and other xenophobic propaganda in your educational institution, to give an assessment of activity of professors A.S. Barsenkov and A.I. Vdovin and solve a problem of their professional suitability. Our organization would not like to bring the case to trial and investigatory examination but the extent of public discussion around the tutorial makes us think about such possibility seriously", A. Boroda summarized.
Early in October suggestions of recommendation character were published on website of the Public chamber basing upon results of meeting of Commission of the Public chamber of RF on interethnic relations and freedom of conscience devoted to discussion of contents of textbook by A. Barsenkov and A. Vdovin. The recommendations stated in particular: "Acquaintance with this textbook brings to conclusion that it contains biased views and interpretation of history in the vein of radical nationalism and that its considerable part contradicts historical facts, ignores conclusions of modern scholars and contradicts the provisions of the Constitution of Russian Federation … Assessing the recent edition of tutorial History of Russia. 1917-2009, the participants of hearing recommend:
1) to the Ministry of education and science of RF, Union of rectors of Russia – to increase efficiency and responssibility of scientific-methodic structures operating in the system of higher humanitarian education – such as meetings of departments, faculty Academic Counccils, Education-methodic councils (UMS) and Educational-methodic association (UMO) on classical university education.
2) to appeal to the Ministry of education and science of RF with suggestion to hold hearings with attraction of scientists and public devoted to the problems of holding of expert examination of educational literature with the purpose of detection of xenophobic and nationalistic elements in it".
In mid-November the expert commission created by the Academic Council of historical faculty of MSU published its resolution concerning the textbook by A. Vdovin and A. Barsenkov. On one hand, the resolution stated the solidarity with 'concern' of the Academic Council of historical faculty of MSU about the fact that "discussion of authors' tutorial of professors A.S. Barsenkov and A.I. Vdovin exceeded the bounds of a scientific discussion and takes place with politicized, politically commented assessments and in some cases became a tool of PR-campaigns". On the other hand, it was noted that "unverified data derived from political journalism and various unreliable sources are used in the book. It contains disputable suppositions belonging partially to the authors themselves and partially adopted from other works". It was noted that there are many factual inaccuracies in the book being the evidence of professional negligence of the authors, unreliable statistic data are available as well as quotations torn out of context. It was noted that â€śauthors absolutize the ethnic principle in public and political life. As a criterion of assessment of actions of the politicians, their ethnic origin is often advanced … Authors' description of material about eviiction of peoples during the Great Patriotic war casts aspersions of treachery upon them thus justifying barbaric and unlawful deportations … Interpretation of Jewish subjects with predominantly negative implication, reiterated repetition of thesis about "disproportionate representation" of Jews in political and cultural elite of the country etc create impression about anti-Semitic motives of these arguments". However these items remained in the resolution to a great extent due to persistence of some commission members who threatened with their withdrawal from it in case the critical passages addressed to Mr. Vdovin and Mr. Barsenkov are expunged from the document. On November 22 the Academic Council of historical faculty of MSU agreed with resolution of expert commission and resolved to consider use of this tutorial "inappropriate … in the educational process on conditions that shortcomings in it are preserved".
Russian Orthodox church against anti-Semitism
On January 27 deputy chairman of Department of external church ties of Moscow Patriarchate Father superior Philipp (Ryabykh) took part in activities devoted to 65th anniversary of liberation of concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau (Poland) by the Red army. Father superior Philipp stated in his speech: "65 years ago Russian soldiers put an end to antihuman, devilish deeds that were committed on this land. They liberated peoples of Europe from Nazi evil not in the name of any ideology. They defended their sacred places, their families, their Motherland – that means they defended our common European values. So we must remember their feat and revere their memory together".
Representative of the Russian Orthodox church suggested on that memorable day to meditate upon the reasons for appearing of Nazi ideology in civilized Europe: "Why mass murders of people of various beliefs and nationalities became possible here and in other places of Europe? For what reason did people appear who were able to kill people similar to them? Spirit of hatred managed to bend their minds and hearts to its will because they proved to be perceptive to words and ideas of hostility directed against other peoples. We today's residents of Europe must avoid hostile speeches addressed to each other by all means. On the contrary, we must speak and search for friendship and cooperation, preserve peace for the sake of wellbeing of our continent. Memory of those who gave their lives in combat against Nazism should help us in this. I am positive that the work of this exhibition would promote preservation of memory about the contribution made by Russian people into protection of common European values of mercy and humanity. I propose to perform a prayer about souls of those who gave their lives in this place and those who perished liberating Oswiencim".
In 2010 61 persons were convicted for crimes and delinquencies motivated by anti-Semitism – this is more than 100% of total number of convicts for crimes and delinquencies motivated by xenophobia (574 persons). 12 persons were sentenced to 1-5-year imprisonment, 1 person each – for imprisonment for the term below 1 year and to compulsory work, 20 persons got suspended sentences, 9 persons got warnings, 17 – were sentenceed to fines. Fines for sale of pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic produce are imposed more often than before as well as access to anti-Semitic literature placed on the Internet is blocked more often after presentation of office of public prosecutor. Big share of suspended sentences in total number of sentences under clauses about delinquencies motivated by xenophobia still attracts attention. As the MBHR materials repeatedly noted, such sentences make no educational effect upon delinquents and on the contrary give them a halo of "those who suffered from the system". Fines and compulsory work for non-violent crimes and real imprisonment for violent crimes would be more efficient.
On January 20 Neftekamsk city court examined the application of city public prosecutor Vladlen Mikhailenko about acknowledgement of video-reel "Present by NjOY…and Sever, MManiac, Satana, Kuzmich" placed on one of websites extremist. According to conclusions of specialists of Neftekamsk branch of Bashkir state university, the video-reel contains appeals to extermination of Jewish nation and symbols propagating ideology of Nazism. It was ascertained that this video-reel was placed by one of visitors of website bashtube.ru. Demands of public prosecutor were complied with completely in the court.
On January 25 it became known that on the initiative of office of public prosecutor of Partizansk city (Primorsky region) an individual businessman was called to account administratively for propaganda and public demonstration of Nazi symbols: advertisement of the businessman published in local newspaper was encircled by a frame was camouflaged swastikas. The magistrate's court pronounced a judgment on acknowledgement of the individual businessman guilty and assignment of administrative arrest for him for 5 days but later Partizansk city court replaced arrest by fine.
On February 2 the justice of the peace of judicial area No 12 of Pervomaisky district of Vladivostok acknowledged citizen L. who placed a drawing of swastika on website 'Shield of Simargl' guilty and imposed a fine of 500 rubles on him.
On February 3 court in Voronezh passed a suspended sentenced of 1-year imprisonment on the student of historical faculty of Voronezh state university, ideologist of creation of website 'Islam in Voronezh' Anton Yevstratov for incitement of ethnic hatred via Internet.
On February 4 Kirovsky district court of St. Petersburg sentenced the editor-in-chief of newspaper â€śOrthodox Rusâ€ť Konstantin Dushenov accused of incitement of hostility using mass media to 3-year imprisonment in colony-settlement. Two of other persons involved in this case – Alexander Malyshev and Pyotr Meleshko – got suspended sentences of 1,5-year and 1-year imprisonment correspondingly. Panel of judges of City court of St. Petersburg left a cassational appeal of Dushenov, Meleshko and Malyshev without answering. The sentence on Dushenov is a precedent case – for the first time a famous ideologist of Russian radical nationalism was sentenced to real term of imprisonment.
On February 15 after a suit of public prosecutor of Lenin district of Kirov city, the court made a decision about availability of signs of extremism in the brochure by ideologist of Slavic neo-paganism Alexey Dobrovolsky 'The Magi'.
On February 27 it became known that the decision of Leninsky district court of Vladivostok about complying with application of public prosecutor of Leninsky district about acknowledging informational materials of anti-Semitic and anti-German character placed on the Internet on forum "Spirituality, religion, philosophy" extremist, came into legal force.
On February 27 in St. Petersburg, at the concert of German group Rammstein, two young men were detained for open demonstration of Nazi symbols. These were not the guards of concert complex but other admirers of creative work of the musicians who were indignant at appearance of the listeners.
On March 2 in Kostroma the sentence was passed within criminal proceedings against 27-year-old Kostroma resident accused of drawing anti-Semitic graffiti in December 2008. The court found the Kostroma resident guilty, and he got suspended sentence of 8-month imprisonment with a probationary period of 1 year and 6 months.
On March 4 the public prosecutor of Samara region Yuri Denisov announced a warning to local businessman Talaybek Sheraliyev who propagated doctrine of prohibited organization 'Tabligi djamaat', about inadmissibility of executing extremist activity.
On March 5 Moskovsky district court of Kazan found the students of Kazan state power-engineering university Dina Amirova and Liliya Abdrafikova, participants of organization Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami guilty of extremist activity. They got suspended sentences of 2,5-year and 1,5-year imprisonment correspondingly.
On March 12 it became known that two residents of Sergiyev Posad were called to account administratively for placing of audio record of songs by group Cyclone B acknowledged extremist materials on their pages in social network Vkontakte. The fines of 1000 rubles each were imposed upon them, and they deleted the songs from their pages in Vkontakte.
On March 15 in Altay region a fine of 500 rules was imposed upon a businessman who tried to sell a lighter with Nazi symbols.
On March 17 it became known that Office of public prosecutor of Republic of Tatarstan issued a public warning in mid-March addressed to a pupil of one of lyceums located in Sovetsky district of Kazan who spoke more than once during 2009-2010 school year at lessons of history, in the presence of teacher and pupils, about necessity of revival of fascism, agitated for watching of Nazi contents film and studying of Nazi literature. He also greeted the teacher and the pupils with a greeting similar to Nazis' greeting in fascist Germany and spoke in public about necessity to clear Republic of Tatarstan from persons of non-Russian nationality.
On March 22 it became known that Office of public prosecutor of Kostomuksha city during an inspection detected a breach of legislation on counteraction to extremist activity by editorial board of newspaper Kostomuksha news: on page 12 of No 50 of newspaper KN dated December 17, 2009 a picture was published with a drawing of two Nazi symbols – swastika and eagle. The city public prosecutor announced a warning to the editor of the weekly about inadmissibility of breaking the law on counteraction to extremist activity.
On March 25 and 30 in Lipetsk two local residents were found guilty under clause 20.29 of Administrative delinquencies Code of RF (mass dissemination of extremist materials included into published Federal list of extremist materials) for dissemination of video films "Wandering Jew" and "Russia with a knife in its back" included into Federal list of extremist materials. They got punishment of a fine.
On March 26 it became known that in Tatarstan supporters of ideology At-takfir ua-l-hidjra were detected. Office of public prosecutor of the republic announced a warning to them about inadmissibility of extremist activity.
On March 31 it became known that in Sarapul individual businessman Glukhov who sold copies of military fascist sign 'Kriegsmarine' was found guilty of committing administrative delinquency with inflicting a fine of 2000 rubles. The sign copy was confiscated.
On March 31 Nalchik city court, after suit of public prosecutor of Kabardino-Balkar Republic, made a decision about acknowledging book editions "Satan's track on secret paths of history" and "Satan's track on secret paths of history, 2nd, supplemented edition" being of radical Islamist, anti-Semitic and Russo-phobic character, extremist.
In April Butyrsky district court in Moscow passed a sentence within a case of 69-year-old Vitaly Pasekov accused of dissemination of anti-Semitic literature and corresponding agitation. He got suspended sentence of 1 year and 2 months of imprisonment and was sent to compulsory psychiatric treatment on his place of residence.
On April 1 it became known that magistrate's court in Lipetsk imposed a penalty in amount of 1000 rubles upon local resident who placed films "Wandering Jew" and "Russia with a knife of its back" included into Federal list of extremist materials on the Internet.
On April 23 the justice of the peace of fifth judicial area of Sovetsky district of Novosibirsk imposed a penalty in amount of 1000 rubles upon local resident D. Belala who disseminated the film "Wandering Jew" acknowledged extremist material on the Internet. The extremist material was confiscated.
On April 27 Leninsky district court of Kirov city acknowledged neo-pagan Alexey Dobrovolsky (Dobroslav) guilty under clause 282 of CC of RF by its verdict and passed a suspended sentence of 1-year imprisonment upon him though office of public prosecutor requested to sentence the accused to 1,5-year real imprisonment.
Early in May Obninsk city court complied with the suit of office of public prosecutor concerning acknowledgement of anti-Semitic book by Nikolay Levashov "Russia in distorting mirrors" extremist.
On May 11 court of Oktyabrsky district of Novosibirsk passed a sentence upon disseminator of anti-Semitic leaflets. 37-year-old unemployed Boris Zhendorenko got suspended sentence.
On May 12 verdict of Meshchansky district court of Moscow came into force against 24-year-old native of republic of Daghestan Elkhan Balasultanov who spoke with a sermon of radical Islam in the mosque in April 2009. The court found the accused guilty and passed a suspended sentence of 1-year imprisonment with probationary period of 1 year upon him.
On June 1 2nd-year student of Novosibirsk state university Semyon Drobot was found, with an enactment of justice of peace of first judicial area of Sovetsky district of Novosibirsk, guilty of dissemination of film "Russia with a knife in its back" included into Federal list of extremist materials: the punishment in the form of administrative fine of 1000 rubles was prescribed for him.
On June 1 court of Central district of Chelyabinsk passed a sentence upon Bashkir nationalists-Islamists finding their activity extremist. The court found Zhavat Kamalov, Chingiz Khalafov, Madina Dyatlova and Faima Zakiyeva guilty of arrangement of extremist community, incitement of hatred of hostility, appeals to violence over citizens. The court sentenced Kamalov and Khalafov to 4-year imprisonment in general regime colony and Dyatlova and Zakiyeva got suspended sentences of 2,6-year imprisonment.
On June 4 Chelyabinsk regional court passed a sentence upon members of criminal group of extremists-Islamists Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami. Anzor Akiyev and Salavat Khabirov were sentenced to 3,5-year imprisonment without fine with serving the punishment in colony-settlement, Ayrat Lukmanov – to 4-year imprisonment without fine with serving tthe punishment in colony-settlement. Vadim Khabirov was sentenced to 2-year imprisonment with serving the punishment in colony-settlement and Vadim Nasyrov was sentenced to 1,5-year imprisonment with serving the punishment in colony-settlement.
On June 10 the decision of Upper-Isetsk district court in Yekaterinburg came to force by decision of Sverdlovsk regional court about acknowledgement of book by Vladimir Istarkhov "Blow of Russian gods' extremist".
On June 10 Sol-Iletsk district court of Orenburg region found the book by Shelhul Hadis Maulan and Muhammad Zaccaria Kandehlevi "Fazail Amali" extremist.
On June 11 a resident of Syzran was penalized for sale of Nazi attributes.
On June 15 Pervomaisky district court of Izhevsk (Udmurtia) passed a guilty verdict upon local resident who drew Nazi symbols and inscriptions all over the building of Jewish community center in the capital of republic. He got suspended sentence.
On June 15 Ostankinsky court of Moscow put an end to activity of newspaper To the barrier! published by nationalist Yu. Mukhin.
On June 21 Boksitogorsk city court acknowledged materials placed on the blog of ex-militiaman Alexander Smirnov extremist. The court also decided to close the blog.
On June 25 it became known that St. Petersburg businessman who sold a book by V. Yemelyanov "Jewish fascism" included into Federal list of extremist materials in his kiosk was penalized according to the court decision in amount of 1000 rubles.
In first half-year of 2010 warnings were announced to three residents of Tula for attempts to disseminate the book "Blow of Russian god" on the Internet.
On July 1 it became known that the Office of public prosecutor of Central district of Volgograd demanded from Internet-providers SC Volgograd GS and SC Company ER-Telecom to close access to website via which it was possible to order the book by Adolf Hitler "Mein Kampf". SC Volgograd GSM carried out the claim of public prosecutor voluntarily, and the second suit was sent to court.
On July 26 the decision of Central district court of Chita complied with the appeal of deputy public prosecutor of Transbaikalian region Bair Dorzhiyev to limited liability stock company MegaLink about restriction of access to website www.srn.megalink.ru/newspaper/np.htm containing issues of newspaper "Russian Transbaikalia" of Chita regional branch of "Union of Russian People" acknowledged extremist material.
On July 28 it became known that Central district court of Komsomolsk-on-Amur enacted to restrict access to five websites for dissemination of extremist materials including Hitlers book 'Mein Kampf'. The blocked websites included in particular worldwide video-hosting YouTube as well as website web.archive.org. Later on the court decision that caused a great scandal was corrected by superior body that enacted that only access to the material acknowledged extremist itself is subject to blocking but not access to the website.
On August 11 Dzerzhinsky district court of Novosibirsk passed a suspended sentence on 60-year-old Alexander Vorona of 6-month imprisonment for dissemination of literature and agitation leaflets aimed at incitement of interethnic hostility towards Hebrews and Buddhists.
On August 12 a sentence was passed on 35-year-old resident of Mikhailovsk town Sergey Borodin who painted anti-Semitic graffiti on the monument to Lenin. He was sentenced to 10-month imprisonment with serving the punishment in strict regime colony.
On August 18 it became known about conviction of four Omsk residents who disseminated the film "Wandering Jew" included into Federal list of extremist materials on the Internet. One of them was sentenced to a fine of 1000 rubles
On September 15 it became known that editor-in-chief of Klintsy newspaper "New workers' newspaper" Sergey Melnikov was warned by office of public prosecutor of Klintsy town for publication of extremist contents article "Zionism is more terrible for Russia than fascism".
On September 22 Pravoberezhny district court of Magnitogorsk passed a sentence on the leader of organization Russian national movement (in former times it was a branch of the National-socialist society) A. Lozovsky. The court considered Lozovsky to be of no danger for society anymore and left him at large passing suspended sentence of 2,5-year imprisonment with probationary period of 3 years.
On September 22 Tyumen district court passed a sentence within criminal proceedings against 24-year-old Aziz Isin and 30-year-old Rinat Tanishev finding them guilty of arrangement and participation in activity of religious extremist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami. The court found Aziz Isin guilty under clause 282.2 part 1 of CC of RF (arrangement of activity of religious extremist organization) and prescribed the punishment of 1 year and 3 months of imprisonment for him with serving the punishment in general regime correctional colony. Rinat Tanishev got suspended sentence under clause 282.2 part 2 of CC of RF (participation in activity of religious extremist organization) of 1-year imprisonment with probationary period of 1 year.
On September 28 it became known that Kaluga resident was penalized in amount of 1000 rubles for dissemination of an extremist contents film included into Federal list of extremist materials on the Internet.
On September 28 Kropotkin city court sentenced V. Ponomarenko accused of dissemination of RNE newspapers to a fine of 100 thousand rubles
On September 29 Severny district court of Orel passed a sentence on a member of organization "Black Hundred" who was found guilty of drawing xenophobic graffiti. He got punishment of 150-hour compulsory work.
On October 19 Oktaybrsky district court of Stavropol made a decision about acknowledgment of article by N.T. Porotov Â«Along the pages of printed matters. Concerning the problem of oligarchs-Jews in post-Soviet Russia or appeared 'domination' of power-holding 'kleptocracy'» an extremist material and about ban for its dissemination, production and storing on the territory of RF.
On October 25 it became known that in Industrial court of Kursk examination of criminal case began against 25-year-old Denis Utkin who placed a video film â€śRussia with a knife in its back-2â€ť on open website. The court passed a suspended sentence upon him.
On November 26 it became known that court of Central district of Krasnoyarsk made a decision about acknowledgment of book by K.V. Rodzayevsky "Testament of Russian fascist" extremist literature.
On November 29 it became known that according to enactment of public prosecutor of Dolgoprudny town a businessman who sold daggers and sabres with Nazi symbols was called to account administratively.
On November 30 the justice of the peace of Central district of Tyumen passed a sentence on 40-year-old businessman Georgy Zarubin (jurist by education) accused of twofold desecration of monument to Lenin with anti-Semitic graffiti. He was sentenced to 2 years of restriction of freedom. During this term the convict will have to come for registration to a specialized body three times a month, it is prohibited for him to visit places of holding of mass activities and take part in their holding as well as to change his place of residence without agreement of the specialized body.
On November 30 it became known about passing the sentence on 20-year-old nationalistic activist from Khabarovsk M. Grigoryev. He was found guilty of drawing xenophobic (anti-Semitic and anti-Caucasian) graffiti and sticking of corresponding leaflets and got a suspended sentence.
On November 30 it became known that 36-year-old resident of Syktyvkar V. Lyurov got suspended sentence for anti-Semitic comment on the Internet.
On December 9 it became known that Office of public prosecutor of Petrozavodsk discovered in computer class of school No 7 during inspection that despite availability of content filtration the pupils had access to the book by A. Hitler â€śMein Kampfâ€ť acknowledged extremist by court. Similar infringements were detected in three educational institutions else. Basing upon results of conducted inspection, the head of Petrozavodsk and director of general school got presentations with demand to take necessary measures without delay for equipping the computer classes with content filtration.
On December 13 Leninsky district court of Barnaul passed a sentence within criminal proceedings against 38-year-old Bulat Gayanov finding him guilty of arrangement of activity of a cell of Hizb ut-Tahrir in correctional institution of UFSIN of Russia for Altay region where he served his punishment for participation in activity of this party. The court found Bulat Gayanov guilty of committing the mentioned crime and sentenced him to 1-year imprisonment, in the aggregate of sentences prescribing the punishment of 1 year and 2 months of imprisonment, with serving the punishment in strict regime correctional colony.
On December 15 the justice of the peace of Ishim city passed a sentence on 23-year-old Oksana Shabanova who drew swastika on the wall of one of shops. The court found Oksana Shabanova guilty under clause 214 part 2 of CC of RF and, taking into account available previous conviction, sentenced her to 1 year and 2 months of imprisonment with serving the punishment in colony-settlement. Basing upon clause 82 of CC of RF, the court postponed real serving of punishment for the convict until her five-year-old daughter would reach the age of 14.
Law-enforcement bodies act more actively now concerning prohibition of organizations propagating anti-Semitism:
On February 1 the Supreme court acknowledged 'National-socialist society' an extremist organization.
On February 8 the Supreme court of RF prohibited the activity of organization 'Imarat Caucasus' as a terroristic one.
On April 27 Moscow city court acknowledged inter-regional public movement 'Slavic Union' extremist and prohibited it.
On June 29 the Supreme court rejected the cassational appeal of leader of Slavic union D. Dyomushkin about enactment on prohibition of activity of the organization.
On September 15 the Supreme court of RF prohibited activity of religious association At-Takfir va al-Hidjra on the territory of Russia considering it extremist.
On September 22 Nizhny Novgorod regional court acknowledged activity of "National-socialist workers' party of Russia" that was active in the region, extremist.
At the same time this practice proved to be ineffective. Either decayed and eliminated organizations or those that are unaccountable for Russian justice (Imarat Caucasus) were subject to prohibition. Besides, the prohibition does not prevent these organizations at all from revival under new, resembling name like this happened with the Slavic union practically with the same membership and the same leaders. At the same time, employees of administration of website of SS demushkin.ru refused to obey to demands of Office of general public prosecutor and remove Hitlers 'Mein Kampf' on the grounds that they were not citizens of RF and had not to obey to its laws.
Anti-Semitic literature is a considerable part of more than 300 items that replenished the Federal list of extremist materials in 2010.
In some cases law-enforcement bodies use accusations of xenophobia and anti-Semitism groundlessly:
On March 26 and June 18 Kirovsky district court of Ufa acknowledged the book by A. Hitler "Mein Kampf" as well as books by B. Mussolini "Doctrine of fascism" and "Memoirs 1942-1943" extremist materials. Acknowledgement of such materials extremist is already available in the text of the law on combat against extremism itself and does not need one more interpretation.
On March 26 Sakhalin regional court left the decision of subordinate court about acknowledgement of brochure â€śImage of enemy in German military propaganda extremist material in force.
On May 26 Neftekamsk city court acknowledged advertisement of the shop of youth clothes 'EXTRA' with drawing of lightnings located side by side and distantly resembling SS symbols an extremist material.
On May 27 it became known that participant of 'Forum of Kostroma Jedi' was sentenced to a fine as he used a symbol in the form of a red rhombus with drawing of cross consisting of four Â«ĐłÂ»-like segments as his avatar. The office of public prosecutor considered the symbol to be Nazi.
The extremist materials included into the Federal list of extremist materials also contain a book "Hitler's table talks" actively used by scientists as a historical source. One may note with regret the court decisions that can't be treated but like connivance to radical nationalists.
Early in March it became known that court of Leninsky district of Kirov released the city resident who placed video, photo and audio records of Nazi orientation on his page 'Vkontakte' from criminal liability. The court considered the materials to be "artworks".
On March 12 the justice of the peace in Cherepovets canceled the protocol composed on February 26 concerning the businessman A. Dorofeyev who sold uniform of German soldiers of the time of the Third Reich. Dorofeyev stated to the court that swastika on the helmet was turned back to the wall and Nazi symbols on belt badges were closed with price tags.
© the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights
COMMITTEE PASSES NV BILL ADDING TRANSGENDER PEOPLE TO HATE CRIME PROTECTION (usa)
17/3/2011- Crimes prompted because a person is transgender could be eligible for harsher penalties under a bill moving forward in the Nevada Legislature. SB180 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 4-3 along party lines Thursday. It would add offenses based on one's "gender identity or expression" to a list of hate crimes that already includes crimes motivated by sexual orientation, and could tack one to 20 years of prison time to a sentence. Supporters from Equality Nevada, who in previous hearings had described murders, rapes and disparaging slurs toward transgender people, said Thursday's move was a step of progress for transgender Nevadans. "We have something on the table early in a very busy legislative session," said Equality Nevada Executive Director Lauren Scott. "It's a win, as far as I'm concerned." National organizers of the Transgender Day of Remembrance estimate 15 people are killed each year in the U.S. in attacks motivated by their transgender identity. Republicans said they opposed the bill because it elevates one group of victims above others. Las Vegas Republican Sen. Michael Roberson said the term "gender identity" was too broad and could open the door for lawsuits based on anything that expresses a person's gender.
SB180 defines gender identity or expression as "a gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of a person, regardless of the person's assigned sex at birth." Death penalty foes triumphed with an amendment keeping transgender hate crime charges off the list of "aggravations" that can push a defendant closer to capital punishment. Existing law allows other types of hate crimes — including ones motivated by race, religion, or sexual orientation — to attach aggravations to charges, but opposition over the mention of the death penalty threatened to sink the bill. "This bill wasn't about the death penalty," said Nancy Hart of the Nevada Coalition Against the Death Penalty, which includes people who object to capital punishment on moral or economic grounds. "But as we move forward, we want to recognize that the rights of these special classes of people don't simultaneously violate other human rights." SB180 is sponsored by Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, and six other Democratic lawmakers. The bill now heads for a vote on the Senate floor.
© The Associated Press
ROMA ACTIVIST UNCONSCIOUS AFTER EXTREMISTS' RALLY IN CZECH TOWN (Czech Rep.)
12/3/2011- A Roma man suffered a head injury and lapsed into unconsciousness when three Roma activists and 13 far-right extremists clashed after a rally of the extremist Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS) Saturday, police spokeswoman Ivana Jezkova told CTK. She said the Roma was taken to hospital with a concussion. His life is not threatened, a rescue service member told CTK. Jezkova said the police detained the extremists. Some 500 far-right extremists and 200 opponents arrived in the town Saturday. The extremists marched through Novy Bydzov without clashing with with the opponents whom the police forced out. The police said one person suffered bruises during the police action against about 200 opponents of the DSSS. The DSSS claimed it staged the march at the request of Nový Bydžov inhabitants who fear for their security. The march was also attended by DSSS chairman Tomas Vandas, who previously headed the Workers' Party (DS) that was outlawed in February 2010. The situation in the town came to a head last November after several people were assaulted and one young woman raped. A petition calling for the local authority to provide for security in the town was signed by 3257 out of 7000 inhabitants. Mayor Pavel Louda (Civic Democrats, ODS) issued a statement in reaction to the petition in which he sharply criticised the local Roma and announced a series of measures against unadaptable inhabitants. A total of 1000 demonstrators were expected to arrive in the town Saturday. Hundreds of police, including riot and mounted police members, were on alert. They also had a water cannon at their disposal.
© The Prague Daily Monitor
SERGEANT GUILTY OF RACE HATE KEEPS HIS POLICE JOB (uk)
A police sergeant convicted of a race hate crime against a fellow officer has kept his job, The Herald can reveal.
17/3/2011- Strathclyde’s Gavin Ross was fined £500 at Dunfermline Sheriff Court last year after being found guilty of racially abusing an Asian colleague at a Christmas night out. However, the licensing sergeant has been told he can continue at his current position and rank after an internal police misconduct hearing. His victim, Sergeant Amar Shakoor, last night said he was “deeply disappointed” with the punishment meted out to Mr Ross, who has had to forgo an anticipated pay rise. Mr Shakoor, who is chairman of the Scottish Muslim Police Association, said: “He has been dealt with leniently. People who have committed similar offences got the sack. “The force is supposed to have a zero-tolerance attitude policy towards racism, islamophobia, sexism and homophobia, and they should stand by that. This decision does not instill confidence among minority officers or the community at large.”
The Strathclyde officers worked together at the Tulliallan police training college in Kincardine, Fife, until Mr Ross used a race slur against Mr Shakoor at a staff night out on December 10, 2009. Mr Ross denied making the remark but was overheard by another colleague at the dinner in the The Unicorn restaurant in Kincardine. It was alleged he called Mr Shakoor a “f****** Muslim b******”. But Mr Ross claimed he had been misheard and actually said he was “a f****** amusing b******”. Mr Ross last year told Dunfermline Sheriff Court that he, as a gay man, would never make offensive remarks of that kind because he himself had been the victim of hate crimes.
News that Mr Ross had not been drummed out of the force – or even demoted – reverberated around Glasgow’s Muslim communities yesterday. Some leading opinion-formers in the community last night expressed surprise that action against Mr Ross had not been tougher. Details of his misconduct hearing, however, are secret and it is not known what arguments he used in mitigation.
Humaz Yousaf, a list candidate for the SNP in May’s Holyrood elections, said: “Strathclyde Police enjoys a good reputation of engagement with the Muslim community. “There tends to be a policy of zero-tolerance for racial, homophobic or any other type of prejudice. “Therefore, it seems unusual such a lenient punishment has been meted out in this instance and it would be a shame if this had a detrimental effect on Muslim community relations, which Strathclyde Police have built up so effectively.”
Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson, who has overall responsibility for discipline, said: “This matter was dealt with by the courts and the officer was found guilty of a criminal offence and fined. “The fact we had a serving officer with a criminal record was, subsequently, the subject of an internal disciplinary inquiry. This was overseen by a senior officer adhering to strict guidelines. “Disciplinary action was taken against the officer.”
© The Herald Scotland
FALLING HATE CRIME FIGURES SPARK CONCERNS OVER UNREPORTED INCIDENTS IN NOTTINGHAMSHIRE (uk)
14/3/2011- Police and race equality campaigners are worried that hate crimes are going unreported in Notts – because recorded incidents have fallen so quickly. The number of hate crimes in the county dropped by 25.9% in 2010, with 1,610 recorded, against 2,175 in 2009. But, far from celebrating, Deputy Chief Constable Chris Eyre said this was a cause for concern. He said: "While all crime across Nottinghamshire has reduced significantly, it is difficult to explain why there has been a reduction in the number of reported hate crimes, but it does cause some concern. "We take hate crime seriously and want everyone to have the confidence to report it, knowing we will do something about it. "People should not have to suffer in silence."
Campaigners fear that changes to the way hate crime is reported and policed means some offences and incidents are not coming to the attention of authorities. A hate crime is any form of verbal or physical abuse that is motivated by sexual orientation, gender, disability, religion or ethnicity. Afzal Sadiq, chief executive of the Council for Equality and Human Rights, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, said: "I think the fact that it's 25 per cent less is not down to any reduction in incidents. I think it could be apathy [from the victims in reporting it] or it could be down to cuts and not enough police resources focused on this area. "I also think that some agencies, relevant and appropriate for reporting hate crime to police, are not pulling their weight."
A 24-hour confidential support line for victims of hate crime in the county was launched in November 2010. The Stop Hate UK helpline is supported by Nottingham City Council, the Safer Nottinghamshire Board and Notts Police. Mr Sadiq said a lack of public awareness of the helpline may also be a factor in the number of reported incidents. Safdar Asam, chairman of the police City Division Independent Advisory Group, said: "There is good work being done by police with ethnic minority communities, including the response to last year's English Defence League march, but a large number of people who experience hate crime do not report it to the police. "There have been studies to try and understand this issue. Some people do not understand that a crime has taken place. "It could also be a lack of confidence in the criminal justice system."
© This is Nottingham
Headlines 11 March, 2011
ALBANIA POLICE CRITICISED AFTER ATTACK ON ROMA CAMP
Albanian police are being accused of racism by local media, after a Roma camp on the outskirts of Tirana was burned down three days ago by perpetrators that have not yet been found.
11/3/2011- Some dwellers in the camp, which was home to roughly 40 families, told local media the attackers arrived at night and beat them with sticks while setting fire to their barracks over several days, pressuring them to relocate. The residents of the camps say the police failed to prevent the attacks and provide protection for the families, who now have moved to live in settlements in Tirana and other cities. It remains unclear if the attack was the result of racism or instigated by the financial interests of real estate developers looking to build in the area. Police denied on Friday that they had disregarded the laws against discrimination of minorities and the protection of children while dealing with the case. According to the police statement, the Roma “initiated the conflict” with their neighbors that then escalated. “We have questioned the Roma about the fire that swept their dwelling but they have refused to testify,” read the statement. According to the Union for Albanian Roma, a Tirana-based NGO, up to 150,000 Roma people live in Albania, part of a community that struggles with discrimination, poor literacy rates and massive unemployment.
© Balkan Insight
STAMP ON RACISM (uk, comment)
10/3/2011- For the second time, the Census authorities have included a Jewish box in the section about religions, and community bodies such as the Board of Deputies and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research have urged people to tick it, to help with planning long-term strategy for Anglo-Jewry. In such a week it is all the more welcome to see the Hate Crime Guide from the Community Security Trust. The 36-page booklet is specifically aimed at Britain's other minority communities and is the result of the Jewish community's long years in the firing line of racial abuse. Now the CST, in an admirable initiative, is passing on the fruits of its experience in the most practical way possible: a nuts and bolts approach to what to do when faced with race hatred. How to define it, how to report it, who to call, what information to pass on when describing an attacker or a vehicle. Racial hatred has all too many targets in 21st century Britain, but it is to CST's credit that it should use its experience and know how to help ensure that all forms of racism and fundamentalism are trodden on - by everyone.
© The Jewish Chronicle
OFFICIALS: RACIALLY-MOTIVATED CRIMES RARE IN EDMONTON (Canada)
10/3/2011- Despite allegedly racially-fueled hate crimes that recently took place in the city, officials say such incidences in Edmonton are far and few. On Tuesday, police announced charges were laid against four men who taunted and attacked several individuals along Whyte Avenue in mid-February allegedly based on their race and sexual orientation. "This whole thing is very disturbing," said acting Insp. Darren Darko of the EPS Organized Crime Branch. But as disturbing as the incidences were, Coun. Amarjeet Sohi, who is the council lead on "Racism Free Edmonton," a group dedicated to speaking out against racism, calls the single-night hate crime spree a rare occurrence. "These kinds of incidences are rare in our community. They are not reflective of our communities. Our communities are very welcoming, very inclusive," Sohi said. "Yes we have issues and we need to deal with those issues and we are dealing with those issues through Racist Free Edmonton." Sohi said Edmontonians can use the recent crimes motivated by hate as a chance to help ensure it doesn't happen again. "Whenever you have incidences like this, I think it really is an opportunity for us to renew our commitment to make sure we're dealing with racism and discrimination," he said.
The city's Centre for Race and Culture credits the Edmonton police and its Hate Crimes unit as one reason why extreme hate crime activities in the city are kept at bay. "They are doing wonderful work in the city," said Charlene Hay, with the centre. "They are educating each other, they are educating the judicial system, that this kind of violence isn't just violence, it's hate-motivated violence." Still Hay says although racially-motivated crime in Edmonton may not be as prevalent as it is elsewhere, there are still concerns. "There is racism that we can't even see, racism that we don't even know we're doing that really penetrates all of our instituations and affects all of our lives," she said. "We don't need to just be concerned about racially-motivated violence although of course we are, we need to be educated about what racism is." Police say that on the evening of Feb 12., a group of four men involved in the hate crime spree were handing out pamphlets about a white supremacist group and an event the group is holding later this month in Calgary. The group also has a website spouting similiar messages as on the pamphlet, including saying "whites from all over Canada and the U.S.A. will rise up and band together to express their racial pride."
Police have charged James Andrew Brooks, David Roger Goodman, Jason Anthony Anderson, and Keith Virgil Decu, with a number of charges including criminal harassment, assault, mischief, and disturbance. A court date for all of the accused has been set for March 17.
© The Global Saskatoon
VICTIMS OF HATE CRIME SPEAK OUT (Canada)
10/3/2011- Three victims of the city's most recent case of racially-motivated hate crimes say they've experienced racism before, but never to this extent. Earlier this week police laid charges against a group of alleged white supremacists who allegedly went on a hate-fueled rampage down Whyte Ave, verbally and physically assaulting people based on race and sexual orientation. "They just attacked me. They took me to the ground and started beating on me," said one of the victims, Issa, who did not want his real name used. "It happened so fast, it wasn't even instigated... it just happened." Issa tells Global Edmonton he was repeatedly punched and kicked in the head by a group of men, three weeks ago outside a bar on Whyte Ave.
Leon, another victim who didn't want his real name used, says he ran into the same group at a different bar. "They're like, 'we're gonna wash negro blood'," he recalls. A third victim, who is being referred to as Nicole, said she and a friend were also harassed by the group. "They called us nigger lovers and proceeded to spit on us," she described. Police say the group had been going along the popular southside strip posting and handing out flyers promoting a white supremacist group and an event happening later this month in Calgary. "They just walked off saying white power and through pamphlets of propaganda they had," They allegedly fired off racist comments and provoked patrons at several businesses.
Issa, Leon, and Nicole, say their ordeal was shocking, and they couldn't believe something like that could have happened. "I've never seen anything like this happen it's like 2011, it shouldn't happen," Issa said. "You don't have to like each other but you have to believe that everyone has a right to live and everyone has a right to be here," said Leon. Although the men have been charged, that fact provides little comfort for the victims, knowing that racism still exists. "You should be ashamed of yourself. I hope you can tell your kids down the line, that you hit a woman... because of your racist beliefs," Nicole said. "I'm just upset that they got bail, that they're out," Issa said. "It's just really upsetting." Five victims in total were assaulted either verbally or physically during the mid-February single-night string of crime. "I was angry... but now I'm just more disgusted," Issa said.
© The Global Edmonton
WHITE SUPREMACISTS CHARGED IN ASSAULTS (Canada)
Female victim feared for her life, police say
9/3/2011- A string of racially motivated assaults on Whyte Avenue last month left one victim so terrified she feared returning to the strip and removed family pictures from her vehicle. On Tuesday, the Edmonton police hate crimes unit announced charges against four men. After a three-week investigation into the Feb. 12 incident, police said two men and one woman were assaulted and more than 10 people had comments directed at them. "It is a little concerning. They are from an identified white supremacist group," said Supt. Ken MacKay, who said the men belonged to Blood and Honour, which is affiliated with a similar group in Calgary. None of the men had been charged After distributing flyers for an upcoming rally in Calgary, a group of men began visiting several bars along Whyte Avenue. "It was a deliberate, premeditated attack on anybody who did not look white," said Const. Ken Smith of the hate crimes unit, who said the attacks were otherwise completely "unprovoked" and "random."
The group stopped at a bar at 103rd Street, where it began making comments based on race and sexual orientation. Just after midnight, members of the group assaulted a 25-year-old man outside a second bar at 81st Avenue and Gateway Blvd. At a third Whyte Avenue bar, a 20-year-old woman was repeatedly punched in the face. A 23-year-old man who came to her defence was also assaulted. The men fled the area on foot but were identified by police investigating the 81st Avenue and Gateway Blvd. incident. The hate crimes unit took over the investigation that night, speaking to numerous witnesses and five complainants. Police said none of the injuries were life threatening. The hate crimes unit took over the dously afraid," said Const. Patrick Ruzage. "She feared for her life." Police said there was a significant paper trail to follow.
The men had been seen handing out flyers at Churchill LRT station at 8 p.m. that night. Transit security officers later intercepted and ticketed the men at the Health Sciences LRT station, which helped investigators identify the individuals. The men continued on to Whyte Avenue, where they handed out and posted flyers before entering various bars. The flyers advertised a rally in Calgary, which Edmonton and Calgary police will monitor to gather intelligence. Police are also working with the RCMP on the case. The three member special investigations unit monitors racist groups in Edmonton, but police don't believe the numbers have been growing. Police also say it is rare that these kinds of groups cross the line of free speech to begin attacking or threatening people. "I hope and believe this was a one off, where this one group went out and decided to do something criminal that night," Smith said.
Four Edmonton men were arrested last Thursday. They were released and will appear in court on March 17. Police have charged Jason Anthony Anderson, 32, Keith Virgil Decu, 32, James Andrew Brooks, 25, and David Roger Goodman, 18 with assault, criminal harassment, mischief, causing a disturbance. Goodman is also charged with uttering threats, while Brooks faces additional charges of assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon. Though the charges don't specify hate crimes, police can ask the Crown for harsher sentencing when racial motivation has been identified, Smith said. "If you're assaulted and it's hate, there is no extra charge for that," said Smith. "The judge determines if he feels it's a factor in the crime, and if so, he will invoke a harsher sentence."
© The Edmonton Journal
Hate crime, hate speech and the marginalisation of the Roma
By Richard Field, founder and chairman of the American House Foundation, a US-registered private foundation that is working with the Hungarian Red Cross and other Hungarian non-government organisations on issues of poverty, homelessness and social exclusion.
9/3/2011- A nation is judged by the way it treats its weakest members – so wrote Aristotle in the third century BC. One wonders what he would make of last Thursday’s conviction and sentencing of five Roma and one Hungarian to a total of 29 years in prison for what prosecutors said was a racially motivated attack on a Hungarian student. Four of the six suspects had been held in detention since their arrest on 23 October 2009 even though their victim did not sustain any permanent or life-threatening injuries. If their conviction is upheld on appeal, most of them will serve out the balance of their sentences in prisons usually reserved for murderers and repeat violent offenders. To the extent several of the defendants regularly intimidated, assaulted and robbed students at a local college they deserve to be punished. What is disconcerting about the verdict is that this is the second time in less than half a year Roma have been convicted of committing hate crimes against Hungarians when Roma tend to be the victims of such crime.
Hungary's record on civil rights widely criticised
According to an Amnesty International report last year Violent Attacks Against Roma in Hungary, Hungarian prosecutors rarely charge non-Roma assailants with an “assault on another person for being part… of a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group” under Article 174/B of the Hungarian Criminal Code. Figures provided by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) indicate that between 2005 and 2009 there were 24 hate crime cases involving the indictment of 38 defendants, all of whom were found guilty of committing a crime against a member of a community. Because Hungarian police are prohibited from identifying the ethnicity of defendants in legal proceedings it is difficult to determine to what extent hate crime laws have been turned on their head and are being used against the very ethnic minorities they are intended to protect. The Amnesty report is one of several documenting human-rights abuses in Hungary. Even the tersely worded 2009 Human Rights Report on Hungary issued by the United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor devotes ten single-spaced pages to alleged human-rights violations ranging from the unlawful detention and forced repatriation of asylum seekers, to the use of excessive force by the police and limitations on people’s rights of peaceful assembly.
Abuse by authorities too
Many of the human-rights violations cited appear to have been perpetrated by law-enforcement officers against the very people they are supposed to serve and protect. Comparing the findings of these reports with the Human Rights Watch 1996 report Rights Denied: the Roma of Hungary, Hungary’s human-rights record does not appear to have improved much over the past 15 years despite joining the European Union and being a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom. In its 2010 report Attacks Against Roma in Hungary the European Roma Rights Center documents at least 48 attacks on Roma between January 2008 and July 2010, including a number that were racially motivated. Some of the crimes involve attacks on Roma homes using Molotov cocktails and even hand grenades. In at least two highly publicised cases shots were fired at the victims as they fled their burning homes, resulting in several fatalities.
On 22 January 2008 in Szigetvár a Roma and her daughter were violently kicked by five individuals wearing steel-tipped boots. Police started investigating a possible racial motivation only after the perpetrators confessed to attacking the women because they were Roma. Pécs City Court found them guilty of causing bodily harm and public nuisance but found no grounds for the crime being racially motivated. Encouragingly the second-level court found the defendants guilty of violence against a member of a community.
On 15 April 2009 an 18-year-old Roma male and three minors were waiting for a tram in front of Budapest’s Keleti train station when they were severely beaten by a group of hooded individuals. Here, too, the police are investigating it as an assault on members of an ethnic community.
On the night of 22 February 2009 a 27-year-old Roma man and his four-year-old son were shot dead as they fled their home that had been set on fire by Molotov cocktails. The initial police investigation treated the case as an accident. Only when Viktoria Mohácsi, then a Roma Member of the European Parliament, discovered the remains of the Molotov cocktails, spent cartridges and lead shot among the victims’ clothing did the local police declare it a crime scene, especially as the autopsy found that they had died from bullet wounds and not smoke inhalation as originally claimed.
Last September an extended Roma family was celebrating the baptism of its newest member when six policemen allegedly attacked the family and guests with tear gas and rubber batons. Anyone resisting was arrested and charged with assault on a law-enforcement officer. This and other incidents suggest that it is not merely skinheads and members of extremist organisations that are responsible for racially motivated attacks on Roma but law-enforcement officers as well.
The theft of a television or lawn-mower often gives police a pretext for raiding Roma neighbourhoods, usually late at night. It seems that this frequently involves kicking in the front door, inspecting everyone’s identification documents and conducting a room-to-room search (often without a warrant). It also regularly involves beatings and arrests. The terror lasts for several hours as the police make their way from one house to the next, overturning furniture, emptying shelves and cabinets, and physically and verbally abusing the terrified Roma inhabitants. If local police are able to operate with impunity it is because prosecutors and judges will nearly always take the word of a police officer over that of a Roma, especially when corroborated by a fellow officer. Furthermore, law enforcement agencies are extremely reluctant to initiate disciplinary action against their own. Police are rarely suspended and almost never discharged. None have been indicted for hate crimes. Furthermore it is common for police accused of brutality to charge their victims with assault on a police officer, thereby sowing confusion and creating legal grounds for taking their accusers into preventative custody. Judges often suspend cases brought against individual police pending the outcome of cases brought by the police against their accusers.
The misery of Ózd
Racially motivated abuse is just one way Roma's civil liberties are violated. I witnessed a far more pernicious and insidious example of institutional racism during a recent visit to the northern city of Ózd. The hills surrounding Ózd are barren and brown having been nearly completed denuded of their pine forests some 15 years ago. The forestry authorities blame the destruction of Ózd's forests on illegal collection of firewood by Roma. The Roma claim much of the forest was actually cleared, either legally or illegally, by the county forestry authorities who neglected to plant new saplings. After 15 years of steady erosion the soil is too thin to support reforestation. Much of Ózd's Roma population spend hours every day foraging for fuel. In the neighbouring village of Farkaslyuk (population 2,000) dozens of families take turns mining the southern rim of an enormous slagheap for pieces of discarded anthracite. The work involves using picks and shovels to burrow under the rim and extract hard pieces of coal from among the sands, stone and debris removed from the nearby mine. The work is dangerous. The overhang can collapse at any time and the slopes are precarious and steep. But many consider it less risky than gathering twigs, saplings or wood of any kind. In Ózd anyone transporting or possessing firewood must be able to prove he purchased it from an authorised dealer. Otherwise the wood in his possession is considered contraband subject to confiscation (along with the vehicle used to transport it), and its bearer is subject to a minimum fine of HUF 10,000 (EUR 36.66).
At 8pm on the evening of Sunday, 8 October a 40-year-old man was transporting some firewood in a cart with his two sons. The younger son of 16 years was pushing the cart while his father and older brother pulled. A police cruiser pulled up and two policemen demanded to know the source of the wood. When the man was unable to prove he had obtained it legally, the police took all three into custody. The three were interrogated at the police station. Law permits the interrogation of minors only in the presence of a parent or guardian who is not being charged with the same crime, but such niceties are frequently overlooked. In addition to charging them with possession of contraband they charged the father with endangering the life of a minor. After signing their statements the three were taken to Miskolc and held in preventative detention for three days at a cost to Hungarian taxpayers of some HUF 100,000 (EUR 366.60). According to police records, the value of the "contraband" wood was HUF 3,200 (EUR 12). In response to demands that the police crack down on so-called “gypsy crime” one of the first acts of the Fidesz government last year was to make it possible for police to detain suspects for up to 72 hours even in the case of petty theft. Roma tend to commit petty thefts, making them particularly susceptible.
To be Roma in Ózd is to constantly suffer the indignity of having one’s identity papers inspected by the police and being fined HUF 5,000, HUF 10,000 or HUF 15,000 (EUR 18.32, 36.64, 54.97) for even the slightest infringement. In December 2010 two policemen stopped a Roma youth as he was coming out of his own house. Asked what he was doing in the house, the boy said he lived there. Inspecting his identification, the police noticed that his official address was registered at another house in the same town and fined him HUF 16,000 (EUR 58.64). HUF 16,000 is the amount the government pays families every month after each child. And for many Roma children it is the difference between eating once a day or eating only once every second day. So when police go out of their way to fine Roma they are literally depriving them of the means to feed themselves and their children. Such random checks are not limited to Roma males. In Farkaslyuk police regularly check the identification of schoolchildren on their way to and from school and even mothers escorting their children to and from kindergarten.
The wheels of injustice
The few Roma affluent enough to afford cars are routinely stopped and searched. As it is, most Roma rely on a bicycle for transport. Soon they won’t be able to afford bicycles either because police rarely miss an opportunity to cite Roma cyclists for missing reflectors, headlights, bells, brake pads, name tags, winter tyres and any other number of minor offences. Often the bicyclist is given the choice of paying a HUF 20,000 (EUR 73.29) fine and having the bicycle confiscated or paying HUF 40,000 (EUR 146.59) and keeping the bicycle. The Ózd police are equally strict when it comes to inspecting carts pulled or drawn by hand, for many Roma the only means of transporting food and fuel. Last year police fined a Roma youth who had set out to cut some grass for his family’s animals HUF 20,000 (EUR 73.32) for allegedly brandishing an instrument "threatening to public safety" in the form of a sickle, which they promptly confiscated.
Hungarian rust belt
Traditionally a center of mining and agriculture Ózd became home to one of Hungary’s largest steelworks in the 1950s despite its remote location in the foothills of the Matras. At its peak the steelmill employed 15,000 people with an additional 4,000 working in nearby mines. When these closed shortly after the fall of communism over half of Ózd’s adult population lost their jobs. Over the next 20 years those who could afford to moved away. Today only 37,000 live in a city that in 1989 had 62,000 residents. Here as elsewhere the collapse of Hungary’s heavy industry and collective farming system fell on Roma the hardest. One of the men mining the slagheap had previously worked in the mine from the age of 16 until its closing in 1989. “In the mines nobody cared if you were a gypsy,” he said. “Everyone looked out for one another.” His story is typical, and perhaps even symbolic, of the plight of the nation’s Roma. Regarded as the equal of any other industrial or agricultural worker under communism, Hungary's Roma went from being employed full-time in the mines, factories and agricultural cooperatives to being unemployed and having to scrounge for coal and food. Under communism miners and steel workers were among the highest-paid professions. All that changed in 1989 with the abrupt closure of the steelmill and mines. Former colleagues suddenly found themselves competing with one another for a rapidly shrinking pool of jobs. Today Roma make up over one-third of Ózd’s population. Out of 9,800 working-age Roma only 300 are employed by a public or private company. Last year the local government employed 400 Roma as public service labourers for six to eight hours a day for up to nine months cleaning public areas, repairing roads, clearing drainage ditches and streams, and maintaining cemeteries. The opportunity to earn minimum wage for nine months out of the year helped to offset drastic cuts in entitlement and social spending.
Recently the Fidesz government limited to four hours a day and to three months the amount of public service work local governments may provide the long-term unemployed. These cuts in social spending combined with a dramatic increase in the cost of basic foodstuffs constitutes a serious threat to Hungary's Roma.
Because of its large industrial workforce, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén was the most “proletarian” of Hungary’s 19 countries and its residents tended to return Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) candidates to parliament and local city councils. The second half of the last decade witnessed a mass defection of MSZP supporters to the extreme political right, including entire institutions such as the police. Today, an estimated 70 per cent of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county policemen are reputed to support the far-right party Jobbik (even though civil servants are prevented from joining political parties or canvassing on their behalf) and one of the independent police trade unions representing about 13 per cent of the national police force even signed a cooperation agreement with Jobbik in May 2009. If one considers that the policemen patrolling Roma neighbourhoods are typically between 18 and 25 years old and coming of age during a period of extreme nationalist and xenophobic sentiment not witnessed since the Second World War, it’s easy to understand how so many policemen in Ózd would believe all Roma are criminals and treat them accordingly, when in fact Roma are no more likely to commit crimes than non-Roma.
Families left destitute
Ordinarily an individual unable to pay a fine is given the option of paying it in installments over time or performing public service. In Ózd 90 per cent of such requests are rejected. Fines not paid within 15 days of delivery are automatically forwarded to a court receiver’s office. Entitled by law to charge fees and penalties on top of the original fine, by the time the office issues its first collection notice the total amount of the arrears to be collected has usually increased two or three fold. In the case of the youth fined HUF 16,000 in front of his home, within two months the office had lifted HUF 47,000 (EUR 172.21) in fines, penalties, fees and interest from his account. Often funds not legally subject to foreclosure, including child-support payments, maternity-leave payments and welfare, are remitted by banks to court receivers along with whatever income they might have, leaving the families destitute. As an authorised collection agent, the court receiver’s office is also authorised to place liens on real estate and other property. In Hungary it is not unheard of for court-appointed receivers to collaborate with real estate and car crime syndicates.
One wonders why the police issue so many citations. In the case of one unfortunate Roma, HUF 400,000 (EUR 1,465) of child-support arrears resulted in the auctioning off of his HUF 8 million (EUR 29,316) house and HUF 4 million (EUR 14,658) worth of vehicles for less than 5 per cent of their fair market value. Perhaps all of this is coincidence and it is unfair to imply there is a conspiracy by law-enforcement officials, prosecutors, courts and court receivers to systematically dispossess Roma of their money and property. Over half of Farkaslyuk’s 300 homes are currently the subject of foreclosure proceedings handled by the court receiver’s office on behalf of the local government, utility companies and banks.
In 1996 it was virtually unheard of for any Hungarian politician to publicly attack any recognised nationalities, ethnicities or religions. Fifteen years later it has become all too common as the direct result of the meteoric rise of the so-called Jobbik – the Movement for a Better Hungary. It is difficult to understand why political, civic and business leaders have countenanced fanatical hate speech from the likes of Jobbik’s Gábor Vona and Krisztina Morvai for so long. Part of the problem is that according to law only speech deliberately intended to incite violence against a particular community qualifies as hate speech. Obviously this is a ridiculous standard, one that parliament needs to change. There is already plenty of evidence to suggest that Vona’s followers are regularly inspired by his fascist rhetoric to terrorise Roma neighbourhoods nationwide. Members of the Magyar Garda are frequently identified among those either assaulting Roma or coming to the defence of their assailants.
As this article was going to press some 2000 Magyar Garda were converging on the eastern village of Gyöngyöspata to attend a rally on Saturday, and were already terrorising the inhabitants and assaulting children on their way to and from school, apparently as retribution for the attacks on students that was the subject of Thursday's trial. Former president of the republic László Sólyom’s inexplicable reticence with regard to Jobbik sent the wrong message to Hungary's political, civic and business leaders. After all, if the president (and former chief justice of the Constitutional Court) is not prepared to speak out in defence of civil liberties and democratic principals, then why should anyone else? Apparently the most salient lesson of the 20th century has been lost on Sólyom and the rest of Hungary's elite: for evil to triumph it is enough that good men do nothing.
Fortunately, the good men and women at the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and other non-government organisations are doing something. In response to these conditions, the HCLU set up 13 legal advisory offices in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county to inform victims of their rights and ensure they have access to competent lawyers. Unless and until political, civic, business and religious leaders take Hungary’s international treaty obligations seriously with regard to protecting the civil liberties of ethnic, national and religious minorities, the democratic values underpinning the nation’s fledgling democracy, already greatly weakened by ill-considered changes to the Constitution of late, will continue to erode and recede until, like the barren brown hills of Ózd, a once-flourishing political, ethical and civil culture is reduced to a wasteland.
© The Budapest Times
Headlines 4 March, 2011
SERBIA FAR-RIGHT LEADER GOES ON TRIAL FOR ORCHESTRATING VIOLENCE DURING GAY PRIDE MARCH
3/3/2011- A far right Serbian leader has gone on trial for allegedly orchestrating violence during October gay pride march when more than 100 people were injured. Mladen Obradovic from nationalist Obraz (Honor) group denied responsibility Thursday during the opening hearing for the attacks on police during the Oct. 10 event. Obradovic and 13 others have been charged with violent behaviour at a public gathering. They face up to 12 years in prison. Far-right groups attacked the police securing last year's gay pride march. Serbia's pro-Western government has pledged to protect human rights as it seeks EU membership.
© The Associated Press
FRANCE: ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACKS DROPPED 50 PERCENT IN 2010
French Envoy: Number of attacks by Muslims on Jews not disproportionate; credits police, education, and media vigilance.
2/3/2011- The number of anti-Semitic attacks in France dropped by half in 2010, French Ambassador Christophe Bigot announced on Wednesday. According to official data presented by Bigot, 466 anti- Semitic incidents were recorded in France in 2010, in comparison to 832 in 2009. “[The cause for the decrease is] the police, the work of justice, the work of high-school education and the vigilance of the media,” Bigot said. “It’s not only due to the relative calm in the region. There was the flotilla incident that could have provoked more attacks, but still we’ve seen a decrease,” said Bigot referring to Israel’s raid on a Gazabound ship that left nine activists dead and dozens wounded in May last year.
According to French statistics from 2010, the number of anti-Semitic incidents included one attempted murder of a Jewish individual, 56 violent attacks, eight arson attempts, 66 cases of sabotage or vandalism and 366 threats made against Jewish institutions or individuals. Bigot said no official data exists on the personal backgrounds of the people behind anti-Semitic attacks in France or their motivations, but he rejected suspicions that a disproportionate number of perpetrators might be French Muslims. “I am not sure there are more anti-Semitic attacks from this community,” he said, referring to French Muslims.
Attacks on Jewish institutions and individuals in France peaked in 2009 in a large part due to the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The 2010 numbers represent a return to the figures from 2008 when 474 anti-Semitic incidents were recorded. Since 2004, the French government has allocated 15 million euros to increase security surrounding 349 synagogues and schools that serve the country’s estimated 600,000 Jews, the world’s second largest Jewish community outside of Israel. In addition, since December 2009, a specially appointed French government official has been coordinating efforts to battle anti-Semitism.
Bigot said at the press conference that France’s policy on fighting anti-Semitism has won praise from many Jewish leaders, including Anti- Defamation League head Abraham Foxman. He said his government would not tolerate any hate crimes and continue to try and reduce the number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2011. “There is still a high-level of anti-Semitism in Europe,” Bigot said, “and not only should we not deny this, but we need to recognize it so we can fight it.”
© The Jerusalem Post
RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA UPDATE FOR FEBRUARY 2011 (Russia)
2/3/2011- In February 2011, at least 3 people were injured and 3 killed in attacks by neo-Nazis in Russia. The incidents of violence were recorded in Moscow (1 dead), St. Petersburg (3 wounded, 1 dead), and Astrakhan (1 dead). According to data available to SOVA, at least 17 people were injured and 8 killed so far this year. In February we recorded at least 3 acts of vandalism motivated by hatred or neo-Nazi sentiment. Muslim graves were defaced in Nizhny Novgorod, as were a pagan temple in Arkhangelsk and a statue of Lenin in Voronezh. This brings the year-to-date total of incidences of xenophobic vandalism to 10.
At least 4 sentences were delivered for violent crimes motivated by hatred, in Moscow, in the Republic of Karelia and in Kemerovo Region. In these trials, seven people were convicted in total, six of whom were given varying terms in a penal colony while the other received a suspended sentence. The most important was the conviction of Nazi skinheads Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky for a racist murder committed in April 2007. February saw the conclusion of 3 trials for violent crimes, in which however it was unclear whether a hate motive was involved. These trials ended with sentences for the murder of a homeless man in Obninsk (in the Kaluga region), the assault of a Kyrgyz national in Samara, and the beating of an Azeri during an attack on a group of immigrants in Irkutsk. There was also the conviction of a neo-Nazi for the September 2009 shooting of a group of FSB agents.
These cases bring the year-to-date total of convictions considering the hate motive to 6, issued to a total of 9 people. At least 4 convictions were given for xenophobic propaganda. The processes took place in the Republic of Kalmykia, Smolensk, and the Arkhangelsk and Orenburg regions, and a total of 5 people were sentenced: two were given suspended sentences, one (the distributor of racist pamphlets in Kalmykia) was given a two-year sentence to be served in a penal colony, and two were given probation for one year. All things considered, the year-to-date total for such decisions is 9 sentences, concerning a total of 14 people.
The Federal List of Extremist Materials was updated five times: on February 4, 9, 11, 17, and 24; paragraphs 764-783 were added. New entries to the list include xenophobic articles from regional newspapers, brochures by P. Khomyakov and A. Ignatiev, the film "Russia With a Knife in the Back 2", a book by Heinrich Himmler, Muslim books and newspapers, material from a blog, and xenophobic leaflets posted to the website “Ichkeria-info.” The Federal List of Extremist Organizations was updated twice in February; it now includes the groups Slavic Union and Format-18. As a result, the list published on the official website of the Ministry of Justice includes twenty entries. For some reason, organizations identified as terrorist are not included.
© SOVA Center for Information and Analysis
RABBI ATTACKED IN SWITZERLAND
1/3/2011- t has been learned that the assistant rabbi at the Lausanne Synagogue in Switzerland was punched and verbally attacked by three youths last Wednesday night, February 23. The anti-Semitic incident occurred as he left the area around the synagogue. CICAD, French-speaking Switzerland's Inter-community co-ordination against anti-Semitism and defamation, reports that the assistant rabbi has pressed charges against his assailants. He was slightly injured in the attack, which was stopped by passersby. Police arrived rapidly and were able to locate two of the three attackers, both of whom are minors. A police investigation continues. CICAD called the incident the "worst attack of anti-semitism in Switzerland in recent years." This is surprising, in that just two years ago, CICAD reported on a “sharp rise in anti-Semitic acts [in Switzerland],” and lamented the "unresponsive" Swiss authorities. There were with 38 attacks in 2007 and 96 in 2008; statistics on attacks since then are unavailable. A poll conducted in Switzerland in 2007 showed that 41% of respondents thought that Jews have too much power in the business world, 40% believed that Jews have too much power in international financial markets, and 45% felt that Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust. Seventeen percent of the Swiss respondents agreed that the Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus.
© Your Jewish News
WEB GIANT FACEBOOK AXES SICKENING HATE SITE THAT SHOWS CELTIC BOSS NEIL LENNON COVERED IN BLOOD (uk)
27/2/2011- Facebook has shut down a vile page that showed Neil Lennon riddled with bullets and branded him a "dead man walking". The gruesome, mocked-up image of the Celtic boss sparked furious complaints to the social network giant. And Labour last night said the hateful attack on Lennon proved that tougher controls were needed to curb "hate crimes" on the internet. The sick page, titled "Bet I can get one million people to hate Neil Lennon", featured a doctored photo of the Parkhead manager in his playing days - with around 40 fake bullet wounds on his head and body and "dead man walking". written on his shirt. Lennon and two of his Northern Irish players, Paddy McCourt and Niall McGinn, were sent bullets through the post last month. Loyalist bigots in Ulster were blamed.
Facebook began an inquiry last week after a complaint about the page. But at first, they allowed the site to stay active if the offending photos were removed. Bosses said the site was not in breach of Facebook's rules because Lennon is a public figure. At the time, their spokesman said: "We want Facebook to be a place where people can express their views. "Just as in the offline world, this means we sometimes come across views different to our own." The photos were taken off the page, but they 'Abusive comments on these sites should be treated just like any hate crime're-appeared later last week. And last night, Facebook confirmed: "The page has been removed from the site. "We encourage people to use Facebook's reporting tools when they encounter offensive content. "If it breaches our terms, it will be removed once reported to us."
Labour justice spokesman Richard Baker MSP said: "The level of abuse being posted each day on these sites is simply not acceptable. "We really need to legislate to bring this type of conduct under the criminal law. "Abusive comments on social networking sites should be treated like any other hate crime." Last night, Lennon told the Sunday Mail that the honour of being Celtic boss made it worth putting up with death threats. He said: "These are things outwith my control. I can only take advice from the security people. "It's worth it, there's no doubt about it. It's not tough, not at all. The only time it's tough is when you're a goal down at Ibrox after three minutes. "The dugout is a good place to be, it's the thing I love doing. It's important for the players to know I'm fully focused on them."
© The Daily Record
ITALY ARRESTS MOROCCANS FOR INCITING HATRED OF POPE
26/2/2011- Six Moroccan men have been arrested in northern Italy on suspicion of seeking to incite hatred of Pope Benedict among Muslims. Police in the city of Brescia said the suspects had allegedly banded together to stir up religious hatred. A note was found calling for the Pope to be punished for converting a Muslim journalist to Roman Catholicism. According to another source, the suspects are not suspected of planning attacks. Five of the men, who are all Brescia residents, were placed under house arrest while the sixth was taken into custody. The note found by police urges Muslim immigrants not to integrate into Italian society, Italian media report. Police said the six were accused of "setting up a group that aimed to incite discrimination, racial and religious hatred, violence and jihad against Christians and Jews". The Pope was condemned for converting Egyptian-born Magdi Allam, a former columnist for Italian daily Corriere della Sera. Mr Allam, an outspoken critic of Muslim militancy and strong supporter of Israel, was baptised by the Pope in March 2008.
© BBC News