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Racist graffiti in St. Petersburg, December, 2005 (AFP)
May 6, 2006 -- The heads of Russia's media outlets on Friday called on the country's journalists to avoid inciting racial hatred.
Thirty-three editors and journalists, including the heads of the main news agencies and Russian state television, released a statement saying that it's crucial to avoid artificially dividing countries into ethnic groups, or creating negative generalizations about minorities.
The statement comes a day after rights group Amnesty International sharply criticized Russian authorities for failing to prevent racially motivated attacks.
Russia has seen a series of attacks on foreigners, ethnic minorities, and asylum seekers. In the latest incident thought to be a racially motivated killing, a Russian citizen of Tajik origin was found dead in his car in St. Petersburg today, with extremist slogans and the Nazi swastika symbol written on the car's exterior.
Yusuf Sultonov, whose 9-year-old daughter was beaten and stabbed to death in St. Petersburg on February 9, 2004 (TASS)
EXTREMISM ASCENDANT: More than half of Russians have xenophobic views, according to a report published in August 2005. In the report, rights groups say that -- despite progress in some areas -- racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism remain rife in Russia. But what worries watchdogs most are recent moves by nationalist-patriotic movements to form paramilitary groups....(more)
A Timeline Of Recent Racial Incidents
Russian Ombudsman Condemns Hate Crimes
Hate Crime Trial Highlights Mounting Racism
Minister Says Russia Can't Stop Xenophobia Alone
For African Students In Russia, Affordable Education Comes At A Price
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