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Playing at being patriots?

Skinheads encouraged by political scientists?

This spring news releases have been reminiscent of reports from the front of a civil war. Rarely does a day pass without new reports on violent attacks, committed by skinheads on people of different ethnic backgrounds. Politicians, officials and public figures have signed antifascist pacts and called for civil resistance to fascism. Society is divided into xenophobes and advocates of tolerance. However, according to expert opinion, official antifascism is just a part of a government political campaign to divert peoples potential dissent into a safe channel. In the meantime skinheads and nationalists feel free to express their views.

On Monday 3rd April, the State Office of Public Prosecutor, due to public pressure or orders from above, ordered its Moscow colleagues to take into account the motive of national hatred during investigations of attacks by skinheads. It has also demanded that the Office of Public Prosecutor of Moscow change the suspected basis of the criminal case, in connection with the beating of the culture minister of Kabardino Balkaria Republic, Zaura Tutova, to article 112 ch. 2, item "?" of Law Codex of the Russian Federation - deliberate causing of physical harm, with a motive of national, racial, religious hatred or enmity . In previous high profile cases public prosecutors have tried to prove this motive and have failed. For example, in St Petersburg the jury described the murder of a Tajik girl as simple hooliganism, and an attack on worshippers at a Moscow synagogue - an attempt of murder on no particular grounds. Yesterday, the representative for human rights in the Russian Federation, Vladimir Lukin spoke out in support of the State Office of Public Prosecutors initiative. The State Office of Public Prosecutor is justified in telling the Moscow Office of Public Prosecutor to change as it has previously ignored ethnic hatred as a motive for crime. - But on the other hand it is clear that in law enforcement bodies there are structures, which do not counteract, or even resist what is happening.

In the context of the large scale campaign declared by the authorities against xenophobia such "complicity" on the part of law enforcement bodies looks strange. It is difficult to persuade irresponsible citizens not to act on hatred towards strangers. But surely in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Office of Public Prosecutor they read the newspapers. Only recently under the initiative of Yedinaya Rossiya ,(United Russia (the governing party) main Russian political parties signed an Antifascist pact. For struggle against xenophobia call politicians and officials from high tribunes. Deputies are urgently preparing for dramatic amendments to the law Counteracting Extremism . Dmitry Rogozin, who at recent elections made many xenophobic statements, has been expelled as leader of the party Rodina" (Motherland). It is interesting, that one of creators of Rodinas unexpected success, the political theorist Marat Gelman, is now the main fighter against fascism and has publicly complained that: someone has put these nationalists in authority.

In opinion of the co-director of the Centre of New Sociology and Practical Policy Studies, Alexander Tarasov's "Phoenix", what those in power do is not connected in any way to the struggle with extremism. Phoenix has been studying the problem of extremism for many years in Russia,. For an example the antifascist pact - If someone didnt wish to sign it does this mean that they are fascists? - Alexander Tarasov asked. The political bloc Yabloka (Apple) has refused to sign, for example. And they are certainly not fascists - they are social democrats. Communists have also not signed the pact. Nor have the Greens. But the Liberal-Democrat Party of Russia has signed . It should be noted, that the struggle against xenophobia started at an official level even before the recent wave of racist attacks. The youth movement "Nashi" (ours) has declared itself the first official antifascist organization. The leader of Nashi, Vasily Yakemenko, has stated that he considers that fascists are people, who oppose the government. Yakemenko said this on one of the main TV channels, - Alexander Tarasov notes. So in one stroke "Nashi" have accused active members of "Yabloka" and the Union of Right Forces of being fascists.

In the opinion of the leader of the party Nash Vibor (our Choice) Irina Khamada, this created sensation is useful to those in power, nationalism and xenophobia themselves are not useful but the fight against them- said Khamada.Itis needed to channel peoples dissent to the fight against xenophobes. And the energy of the xenophobes can be channelled in the fight with liberal and western spies. Serious politics today has become a performance, in which the main negative hero is the nationalist and the xenophobe, and the main heroes fighting against them, members of Yedinaya Rossiya (United Russia). As a result, on the eve of election in comparison with any fascist organisations the governing party seem white and fluffy.

In the context of all this, the position of the State Office of Public Prosecutor is understandable. In the opinion of Alexander Tarasova, until now in sensational cases when something has to be done, prosecutors have persistently charged skinheads with article 282 of the Russian law Codex about the inflaming of hate and enmity, but in fact it is hard to prove crimes on the basis, for example in the case of Koptsev (he stabbed several people in a synagogue in Moscow recently) they were not able to charge him with this. To have charged him with this, he would have had to have run around the synagogue first, shouting anti-Semitic slogans, and if he didnt do this then there is no excitement of ethnic hatred. But we have also in the Codex the article the committing of a crime on an ethnic, racial or religious basis. Everyone knows this article. In this game only lawyers can play knowingly. State Office of Public Prosecutor only remembered about this article only recently. After that society has been astonished by the toothlessness or the cynicism of government accusations during the high profile cases against skinheads. Perhaps such connivance is causing the current growth in racist attacks?

Mr Tarasov drew attention to another fact -is the apathy and inactivity of law enforcement organs really surprising, when even the public prosecutor Vladimir Ustinov in his speeches constantly refers to the work of the far right philosopher Ivan Ilyin, for example during his address to the his colleagues of the State Prosecution with participation of political leaders in February of this year. He was writing during the 1920s in Germany, this philosopher praised Adolph Hitler and his national socialists. This fascist philosopher is referred to by Ustinov as the highest authority.

Its worth mentioning that the General Secretary of the UN, Kofi Annan, announced in a report recently that after the Russian Federation has the highest number of international migrants in the world after the USA. In 2005 in our country were 12.1 million international migrants. In these conditions nationalist politicians inflaming ethnic topics and official warriors against xenophobia, could result in very unpredictable consequences,

Source: Novaya IsvestiyaA>


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