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State Duma Discusses Problems of Extremism and Xenophobia

The State Duma Security Committee has carried out a round table discussion: 'Problems surrounding the legislative guarantee of opposition to displays of extremism and xenophobia in the Russian Federation.

Between 2000 and 2005 the number of attacks on foreign citizens in Russia has increased by 84% - from 7,200 to 13,300, according to evidence presented by the chairman of the security committee Vladimir Vasilev.

According to Vasil'yev, anti-Caucasian and anti-Chinese feelings are growing in Russia, whereas in the former Soviet republics anti-Russian sentiments are increasing. Vasil'yev also commented that the number of people convicted of extremist crimes in 2002 was eight. By 2005 this number had grown to 214. The number of crimes classified as "Vandalism", has also undergone a sharp growth: in 2003 there were 96 convictions, in 2005 - 289. Of the 67,300 foreign students currently studying in Russia 0.6% have been attacked.

Recommendations made by participants of the discussion include:

- To add clauses 7 and 9 to laws "Concerning the Opposition of extremist activity " forbidding the creation of parties or associations, to which activity has already been forbidden due to connection with manifestations of extremist activity, under new names;

- To add clauses to laws 8, 11, 13 incorporating the concepts "Internet" and "Internet-site

- To determine basic federal laws and the task of law enforcement bodies in the counteraction of extremist activity;

- To consider the expediency of a return to former criminal legislation, having increased the maximal punishment for the crimes of exciting national, racial or religious hatred from two to four years imprisonment;

- To formulate a legislative amendment defining crimes in a way that takes into account whether hooliganism was carried out on the grounds of national, racial or religious intolerance.

Source: MBPCh


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