[JURIST] The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) [official website] on Monday called on Russia to take action against growing instances of ethnic violence and Neo-Nazi activity within its borders. CERD said that Chechens, Roma, and other ethnic and religious minorities are the most common victims and noted allegations that Russian police frequently refuse to intervene to stop such attacks. The panel also urged Russia to investigate reports that in 2006 officials forcibly deported ethnic Georgians living in Russia. Georgia has said that the incident reflected official state policy at the time and last week filed a complaint [PDF text; JURIST report ] with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website]. Monday's comments are related to CERD's scheduled review [UN materials] of Russia's compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination [text]. Reuters has more.
This is not the first time that Russia has been criticized for racist attacks. A January report [JURIST report] issued by the SOVA Center [advocacy website] rights group found that hate crimes [JURIST news archive] in Russia rose 13 percent in 2007, but also found that police have done little to stop attacks. In June 2007, Human Rights First [advocacy website] reported that hate crimes are on the rise throughout all of Europe [JURIST report], after conducting a study examining recent hate crimes in France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. That study found that Russia has a "proliferation of violent hate crimes directed against ethnic, religious and national minorities."