MINELRES: Russia: Digest on Xenophobia and Ethnic Extremism

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Thu Jun 23 15:13:18 2005

Original sender: Moscow bureau for human rights <humanrights@list.ru>

Moscow Bureau for Human Rights
115455 Moscow, Russia, p/o box 6
tel\fax 7 (095)959-27-45, (095)506-02-24
E-mail: mucsj@rambler.ru

Director of Moscow Bureau for Human Rights 
Alexander Brod

In case of reprinting reference to Moscow Bureau for Human Rights is


Alexander Brod has participated in the OSCE conference on fight against
anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance which took place in Cordoba
on June 8-9, 2005, and in the preparatory conference for NGOs organized
on the eve of the main event in Seville. The MBHR director was a
moderator of the panel “General forms of intolerance, racism and
xenophobia. Sources of discrimination. Changes in laws. Education and
mass media” and made a speech on the session “Response to anti-Semitic
and other hate crimes: role of governments, legislation, law-enforcement
institutions and civil society”        

On June 9, 2005 Khamovnicheskiy municipal court of Moscow rejected the
claim of Aleksander Aratov, ultra-nationalist and neo-pagan, editor of
“Russkaya Pravda” newspaper. In 2001 he turned to a court with a claim
for defense of his honor and dignity and penalty of moral damage from
the editors of “International Jewish Newspaper” and prominent writer
Alexander Rekemchyuk. The writer called Aratov in his interview to the
newspaper “one of the fascist ideologists” (Aratov edited and
disseminated Hitler’s “Mein Kampf“, “Doctrine of Fascism” of Mussolini,
“Racial Hygiene in National-Socialist Germany”, etc.). 

During the four years of the hearing Alexander Aratov was calling
himself a “human rights protector”, protecting the rights of Russians
that are abused by “Zionists without kin”. The Moscow Bureau for Human
Rights expresses its satisfaction with the decision of Khamovnicheskiy
court and hopes that it would be an example for other courts, where the
activists of marginal xenophobic and racist organizations could address
their claims to democratic leaders and human rights defenders. The
interests of A. Rekemchyuk were represented in court by the legal
director of MBHR V. Novitskiy.

The Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Aleksiy II stated in his greeting
speech on the OSCE Conference on the problems of Anti-Semitism and Other
Forms of Intolerance (in Kordoba), that Russian Orthodox Church condemns
groups and their leaders, insulting other nations, including Russian,
and religions, and appeals to combat all kinds of xenophobia, extremism
and intolerance not only by means of restrictions and punishments, but
also through inter-religious dialogue. 

The Moscow Bureau for Human Rights welcomes the initiative of Aleksiy
II, but expresses regrets, as the Patriarch did not mention what exact
groups (among which are also some anti-christian extremists) he meant.
It must be mentioned that a part of Russian conservative clergy is also
infected by anti-Semitism – for example, deacon Andrey Kurayev, who’s
supposed to be a mouthpiece of ROC leadership. Anti-Semitic features
could be found in radio “Radonezh” programs, as well as in a newspaper
of the same title and in assortment of some orthodox book shops.

Publishing house “Yuristinform” issued a book of A. Ratinov, N. Ratinova
and M. Kroz – “A Responsibility for Stirring Up of Animosity and Hate:
psychological-legal characteristics”. It is a manual for the
law-enforcement services staff, dealing with the facts of stirring up of
cross-national dissension or crimes (assault and battery, murder) on the
basis of national hate. This is also a book for journalists, which are
shown on numerous examples, how one shouldn’t write about the question
of nation and how to protect himself from sweeping accusations of
insulting honor and dignity of nationalist parties’ and groups’ leaders. 

The Moscow Bureau for Human Rights is planning to conduct a number of
round tables to discuss this book and the whole problem of xenophobia in
Russia, including the law-applying practice towards chauvinists, with
participation of representatives from prosecutor’s office, militia,
court and mass

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