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Appeal

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Appeal addressed to:

 

Mr. Medvedev D.A. – President of the Russian Federation

Mr. Emomali Rakhmon – President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Mr. Putin V.V. – Prime-Minister of the Russian Federation

Mr. Patrushev N.P – Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation

Mr. Torshin A.P. – Acting Chairman of the Federal Council of the Russian Federation

Mr. Grizlov B.V. – Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation

Mr. Lukin V.P. – Ombudsman of the Russian Federation

Members of the Public Council of the Russian Federation

Mr. Borotnikov – Chief of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation

Mr. Nurgaliev R. G. – Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation

Mr. Audronius Azubalis, Chairman of the OSCE

Mr. Uwe Corsepius, Secretary-General of the EU Council

Mr. Ban Ki Moon – UN Secretary-General 

Mr. Noemy Barrita-Chagoya – Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Committee for the Rights of Migrants and their family members.

Ambassador William Lacy Swing – General Director of the International Organisation for Migration

Heads of the institutions and organisations of all concerned governments

All Diplomatic Representations, Embassies and International Organisations accredited in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tajikistan.

 

 

 

We, citizens of Tajikistan and international community are extremely concerned by the activities of radical neo-Nazi organizations in Russian Federation, which are growing in frequency and intensity. These activities encourage a deepening xenophobic mood in Russian society. Therefore we call on the Russian authorities to take more firm and vigorous action to fight the rise of nationalist extremism in the country. The recent brutal murder of a citizen of Tajikistan in suburbs of Moscow region prompts us to draw the attention of the Russian government as well as international institutions to this problem. It is obvious that this issue is no longer simply a domestic issue, but has international ramifications and demands an international response.

The body of Dzhonibek Kosimov, a 24-year old citizen of Tajikistan, was found with multiple stab wounds and a cut throat, in the forest area of Sergievo-Posad, a district in Moscow region on 7 September 2011. To investigate the brutal murder of the Tajik labour migrant, the Sergievo-Posad Division of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation has filed a criminal case. The Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan in the Russian Federation has been closely monitoring the developments related to the investigation. At the same time, the Embassy has sent a Note Verbal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation requesting an objective investigation of the violent death of this Tajik citizen.

Although the perpetrators of this heinous crime have yet to be found, the nature of the crime bears the signs of the work of neo-Nazis. Most of their victims have been killed like this, especially in such a cruel manner, with the use of sharp weapons. In recent years, migrant workers from Central Asian countries have been victimized increasingly by neo-Nazi skinheads who advocate "purging" Russia of people of "an alien culture and religion", especially immigrants from Asia, the Caucasus and Africa. According to the Russian Human Rights Information and Analytical Centre "SOVA", 15 people were killed, 80 people injured and another 7 had received threats of murder from neo-Nazis in Russia during the first 8 months of 2011. Those subject to attacks were mostly people from Central Asian countries, the Caucasus, Africa, and others with non-Slavic appearance. Presumably, such attacks take place more frequently than is officially reported. Only in Tajikistan - according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan - more than 50 bodies of Tajik citizens subjected to violent death arrived from Russia to date this year. It is safe to assume that most of them were victims of xenophobia.

Neo-Nazis justify their fight and anger against migrants with falsehoods and stereotypes. For example, they claim that foreigners" take" jobs from the Russians. It is common knowledge however that migrant workers do the hardest and dirty work, and usually occupy those segments in the labour market in Russia which are not attractive to the Russian citizens. The Russian Government has repeatedly confirmed the necessity of attracting labour migrants, given the reduction in the working-age population in Russia, by a million people per year on average. However, some Russian politicians have been exploiting such a sensitive national topic. Using populist and ultra-nationalistic rhetoric, they have been calling to differentiate migrants and other visiting foreigners into ethically “desirable” and "undesirable" groups.

It is obvious that in Russia today, the activities of extremist and nationalist organizations pose a serious threat to the life and the security of both foreigners and Russian citizens with non-Slavic, or "non-European" appearance. Human rights activists opposing xenophobia have also been subject to attacks by nazi-skinheads. At the same time the nationalists 'forget' that the Russian Federation is a multinational and multi-confessional state encompassing more than 180 nations and multiple faiths. Human rights activists report that more than 39 people were convicted for racist violence in Russia since the beginning of 2011. A total of 156 people have been subject to criminal proceedings. And many crimes remain unsolved, leaving many perpetrators to escape the punishment that they deserve! Ironically, all this happens in a country that during the Second World War was at the forefront of the fight against Hitler's Nazism, a powerful state in which millions of citizens of various ethnicities gave their lives to destroy the despicable notion of the superiority of one nation over another!

Currently, dozens of nationalist organizations are active in Russia. Most of them are recognized as extremist organizations and officially banned. However, this does not prevent them from operating underground. These banned groups have not disappeared. They reorganized, changed their strategy and tactics and have started using new, so-called "moderate patriotic" slogans such as "universal ethno-political Russian solidarity" or "the proclamation of the Russian national state". They continue to recruit young people, spreading the idea of the exclusive supremacy of the Slavic people over other nationalities. Gangs of skinhead-teenagers grew and formed into well-organized structures that promote an ultranational ideology. Members of these groups call themselves "Russian partisans," and their convicted peers- "prisoners of conscience." All of them receive military training, often under the guise of team games. It is common knowledge that the neo-Nazis chose as their symbol the Imperial flag of Russia of the 19th century (black-yellow-white tricolor).

"The Russian Resistance", a documentary film, was posted on the internet by nationalists. Remarkably, the active leaders and ideological inspirers of the Russian neo-fascist movement do not hide their faces and names. The film does not directly call for violence, but the protagonists do not hide their hate towards people of other ethnicities, nationalities and faiths, and declare their goal to expel non-Slavs from Russia. At the same time, the documentary film provides detailed instructions of the main features of underground activity, the so-called "guerrilla warfare", as well as the need for physical fitness and mastery of knives. We are particularly concerned that this documentary film similar to hundreds of other videos that promote racial hatred, are freely available on the Internet. We want to draw the attention of the law enforcement and intelligence agencies of Russia to this deplorable fact.

We believe that today, neo-Nazi organizations offer the same level of threat to public order in Russia as so-called Islamic extremism. However, while the fight against the latter receives significant resources and a concentrate effort, countermeasures against neo-Nazism in Russia unfortunately receive less attention. The brutal killings of non-Slavic people should be classified as acts of terrorism, since they are intended to frighten and intimidate people other nationalities. We believe that any such crime should be thoroughly investigated and perpetrators and their ideological inspirers must be found and punished with the utmost rigour of the law.

We call on the leadership of the Russian Federation, namely the President, the Prime Minister, Security Council Secretary and heads of relevant departments to pay close attention to the activities of the nationalist organizations, which under the cover of the democratic slogans of protecting the Russian citizens, do not miss any opportunities and attempts to enter into a legal political settlement and to expose themselves as legitimate political opposition of the current government. Violent acts against foreign nationals that go unpunished by the law, as well as the national-patriotic undertones in the speeches of some Russian politicians, could damage the friendly relations of Russia with many countries around the world and undermine its image as a state committed to the principles of democracy, equality and security of all people living in Russia, regardless of their race, ethnicity and religious beliefs.

We call on all citizens of the Russian Federation who are committed to the values of social justice to join us and stand up against growing extremism, racism and fascism in their country!

We demand from the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan to take an uncompromising stance on the protection of Tajik citizens, wherever they work and live!

We appeal to the international human rights institutions and organisations to undertake an independent investigation of the murder of Jonibek Kosimov who was killed in Russian Federation on 7 September 2011.

We appeal to the international community, the UN Secretary-General, the UN Security Council and UN Committees, the European Council and the European Parliament to appraise the worrying trend of increasing neo-Nazism in Russia and review the adequacy of measures taken to combat this phenomenon by the Russian Government. This assessment should be undertaken based on an impartial review and situation analysis of migrant workers and their families, refugees, national and ethnic minorities in Russia by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrant Workers, the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance, with the involvement of independent experts of the UN Committee on Human Rights.

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