Amnesty International has released a new report saying racially motivated killings, beatings and discrimination are on the rise in Russia. It accuses Moscow of “failing to sufficiently challenge xenophobia and intolerance.”
Attacks, some fatal, have been reported on asylum seekers and students from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Members of certain ethnic groups have also been targets, including migrants from the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Roma communities.
Victoria Webb is the author of the report entitled “Russian Federation – Violent Racism Out of Control.” From London, she spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua.
“Amnesty International has been concerned about racism and intolerance in Russia for some time. What we’re particularly concerned about at the moment is the seeming increase in racist attacks, which are reported on an almost daily basis across the country, and that the Russian authorities are failing to react adequately to these attacks, to prevent them, to investigate them and prosecute them effectively in the vast majority of these cases.”
The Amnesty report says those speaking out about the problem are facing retaliation. Webb says, “What’s also really concerning is that activists, who are campaigning against racism, and experts on racism, who’ve worked for example giving expert testimony in trials against perpetrators of such attacks, have also fallen victim to violence. These people are not being protected properly and in some cases the murders are not being investigated properly.”
The report says often Russian law enforcement authorities label the attacks as simple “hooliganism” with no racial motivation.