Russia: Racism and Xenophobia in November 2014

The following is our monthly review of instances of xenophobia and radical nationalism, along with any government countermeasures, for the month of November 2014. The review is based on material gathered by Sova Center in the course of our daily monitoring. In November, one person fell victim to racist and neo-Nazi violence. In Moscow, near Metro stop Sviblovo, a woman dressed in Islamic clothes was suddenly and without a visible cause attacked by a young man with a knife who stabbed her a few times in the stomach. Since the beginning of the year, our monitoring shows that no fewer than 19 people have been killed in such incidents across Russia, with 97 more injured, while two people have received a serious threat against their life. Racist violence has been recorded in 24 regions of Russia so far this year. November saw no fewer than eight acts of neo-Nazi vandalism. As such, since the beginning of the year, we have recorded no fewer than 48 acts of ideologically motivated vandalism, in 32 regions of Russia. Traditionally, the Russian March of November 4 turned out to be the main public event of the autumn organized by the ultra-right. The Day of National Unity was marked this year by three mass events: the official rally-concert We Are United and two rival ultranationalist actions, both called “Russian Marches.” One of the nationalist processions took place in Lyublino, the other marched from the Oktyabrskoye Polye Metro stop to the Shchukinskaya stop. The coordination of the actions, along with their preparation, was marked by difficulties and conflicts, primarily due to factionalization within the far-right community over support or opposition to Novorossiya. Sova staff observed about 1,800 people present at the Lyublino march, the Russian March for Novorossiya at the Oktyabrskoye Polye Metro stop brought out about 1,200 people.

via searchlight: Russia: Racism and Xenophobia in November 2014

Russian lawyer says #Snowden in #danger after hostile remarks

Edward Snowden needs better security after a news report quoted unnamed U.S. intelligence officials saying they wanted the former spy agency contractor dead and discussing ways to kill him, his Russian lawyer said on Tuesday. Snowden was granted asylum in Russia last summer after fleeing the United States, where he is wanted on espionage charges for leaking information about government surveillance practices. The American’s revelations caused an uproar in the United States over privacy rights and angered many U.S. allies. Russia’s decision to shelter him damaged already strained ties between Moscow and Washington. “We are concerned about potential hidden threats that we have heard often recently. In these statements … they openly call for physical reprisal against Edward Snowden,” lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said on state-run Rossiya-24 television. Without naming any media outlet, he referred to comments reported by the website BuzzFeed, which quoted a Pentagon official as saying he would love to shoot Snowden in the head. BuzzFeed quoted a U.S. Army intelligence officer as saying the former National Security Agency contractor could be killed Cold War-style, poked with a poisoned needle while returning home from the grocery store.

via reuters: Russian lawyer says Snowden in danger after hostile remarks

Putin begnadigt seine Feinde

Erst Pussy Riot, dann Chodorkowskij: Russlands Präsident verkündet auf einer Pressekonferenz, seine prominentesten Kritiker freizulassen. Nach der Massenamnestie sind erste Kremlkritiker bereits in Freiheit. Einen Tag, nachdem Russlands Duma eine Massenamnestie beschlossen hat, überrascht Präsident Wladimir Putin auf einer Pressekonferenz. Erst kündigt er an, dass die zwei inhaftierten Musikerinnen der Gruppe Pussy Riot freigelasssen werden sollen, dann gibt er bekannt, seinen Widersacher, den Oligarchen Michail Chodorkowskij ebenfalls begnadigen zu wollen.

via sz: Putin begnadigt seine Feinde

siehe auch: Freiheit für Chordowski und Pussy Riot Kritik an Putins Gnadenakt. In einem “Gnadenakt” lässt Russlands Präsident Wladimir Putin viele Kreml-Gegner frei, darunter auch Ölmagnat Michail Chodorkowski. Dennoch erntet der Kreml harsche Kritik aus Deutschland. Acht Monate vor der geplanten Freilassung des russischen Regierungskritikers Michail Chodorkowski hat Präsident Wladimir Putin die Begnadigung des früheren Ölmagnaten angekündigt. “Er saß mehr als zehn Jahre in Haft. Das ist eine harte Strafe”, sagte Putin nach seiner Jahrespressekonferenz in Moskau. Chodorkowski habe ein Gnadengesuch eingereicht. Dem heute 50-Jährigen wurde unter anderem Steuerhinterziehung vorgeworfen. Kritiker sprachen von politisch motivierten Prozessen, weil der Unternehmer Putin herausgefordert hatte. Putin kündigte zudem an, dass die beiden inhaftierten Mitglieder der Punk-Band Pussy Riot freikommen. Möglich macht dies eine Amnestie, die das Parlament am Mittwoch gebilligt hatte; Arctic 30 protesters and Pussy Riot members set to walk free. Russia passes amnesty law with amendment extending scope to include those arrested on Greenpeace ship. The Greenpeace “Arctic 30” could be home by Christmas, and the two jailed members of the punk group Pussy Riot should be released from jail in the coming days, after a wide-ranging amnesty law was passed by the Russian parliamenton Wednesday . The Pussy Riot pair are serving a two-year sentence for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, while the Greenpeace activists are charged with hooliganism and are currently on bail awaiting trial in St Petersburg. The amnesty, backed by Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, is timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Russia’s constitution. It mainly concerns first-time offenders, minors and women with small children; Pussy Riot, Greenpeace activists granted amnesty as State Duma passes bill. Russia’s lower house of parliament has given a third reading to the amnesty bill, which means jailed members of Pussy Riot punk band may be freed before the New Year and charges against arrested Greenpeace activists are also to be dropped. State Duma deputies on Wednesday unanimously supported the amnesty legislation submitted by President Vladimir Putin earlier this month to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the country’s Constitution. The legislation could come into force as early as this week, after it is officially published. Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, who are both subject to the amnesty, may be released from prison by New Year’s Eve, their lawyer Irina Khrunova told journalists.

Pussy Riot convict ‘transferred to Siberia’, says husband

Tolokonnikova went on a hunger strike in protest of conditions she described as ‘slave labour’ and constant harassment by colony administration. Jailed Pussy Riot band member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is on her way to a new penal colony in Siberia, her husband said today, following fears after two weeks without information about her whereabouts. Tolokonnikova, 23, who alleged major prison abuses in her previous colony in central Russia, is on her way to a new prison colony deep in the Krasnoyarsk region, her husband Pyotr Verzilov wrote on Twitter, saying the information comes from a reliable source. The penal colony number 50 in the town of Nizhny Ingash lies about 300 kilometres (185 miles) from the regional centre Krasnoyarsk, four time zones away from Moscow and sitting on Russia’s Trans-Siberian railway. “Essentially, she is transferred 4,500 kilometres (2,800 miles) from central Russia to the heart of Siberia as punishment for the resonance of her letter” that alleged abuses, Verzilov added. With just months left of her two-year term for performing a “punk prayer” in Russia’s main Orthodox cathedral protesting ties between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin, Tolokonnikova had demanded to be transferred from her prior colony in Mordovia region.

via Pussy Riot convict ‘transferred to Siberia’, says husband

siehe auch: Pussy-Riot-Aktivistin: Nadeschda muss ins Straflager nach Sibirien. Nadeschda Tolokonnikowa: Auf dem Weg nach Nischny Ingasch. Zwei Wochen lang fehlte von ihr jede Spur. Nun gibt es neue Hinweise auf den Verbleib der verurteilten Pussy-Riot-Musikerin Nadeschda Tolokonnikowa. Laut ihrem Ehemann wird sie derzeit in ein Lager in Sibirien verlegt. Auch in der Haft hat sie nicht aufgehört, aufzubegehren. Pussy-Riot-Musikerin Nadeschda Tolokonnikowa protestierte immer wieder gegen die Haftbedingungen in ihrem bisherigen Straflager in Zentralrussland. Sie kritisierte die Haftbedingungen, schrieb in einem Brief von “Sklaverei” und sowjetischem Gulag-System. Schließlich trat sie in den Hungerstreik. Jetzt üben die Behörden offenbar Vergeltung: Sie ordneten die Verlegung in ein anderes Gefängnis an. (…) Laut ihrem Ehemann wird die 23-Jährige in ein Straflager in Sibirien verlegt. Sie sei derzeit auf dem Weg in die Haftanstalt, schrieb Pjotr Wersilow am Dienstag im Kurznachrichtendienst Twitter unter Berufung auf eine verlässliche Quelle. Demnach wird Tolokonnikowa in das Straflager Nummer 50 in der Stadt Nischny Ingasch gebracht. Diese liegt an der Trasse der Transsibirischen Eisenbahn rund 300 Kilometer von der Metropole Krasnojarsk entfernt und vier Zeitzonen östlich von Moskau; ‘Missing’ Pussy Riot prisoner Nadezhda Tolokonnikova ‘being taken to Siberia’. Russian authorities have said that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the imprisoned Pussy Riot protester who has ‘gone missing’, is en transit to another jail – possibly a Siberian prison colony. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the jailed Pussy Riot activist, has not been heard from by her friends and family for two weeks. But Russian authorities on Tuesday said she is still in transit to a new place of detention – leading to speculation that she is headed for a Siberian prison colony. Vladimir Lukin, Russia’s human rights ombudsman, said that he had approached prison chiefs about Ms Tolokonnikova, who has not been heard from since October 18, after appeals from human rights activists.