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Russian Court Jails 12 For Murder Of Peruvian

Scene from a rally against hate crimes organized by Orthodox believers this August (ITAR-TASS) August 25, 2006 -- A Russian court has sentenced 12 people for the murder last year of a Peruvian student in the southern city of Voronezh.

The chief suspect was jailed for 16 years. Another 11 were given sentences of up to five years. Several of the sentences were commuted. One suspect was acquitted.

The court ruled that the murder of 18-year-old Enrique Angeles Hurtado had been motivated by racial hatred.

Hurtado died from knife wounds after a group of 13 young men attacked him and two friends last October. Two friends -- another Peruvian and a Spaniard – and a Russian student were wounded.

Russia has seen a rising number of violent attacks on foreigners in recent years. In Voronezh, three foreigners ahve been killed and 10 others wounded in attacks over the past two years.


Moscow Takes On Extremism

Moscow Takes On Extremism
Kamlizhan Kalandarov in RFE/RL's Moscow studio (RFE/RL)

COMBATTING THE HATRED: RFE/RL's Russian Service on August 21 spoke with Kamilzhan Kalandarov, a member of the Public Chamber and a leader of the NGO Our Russia. (Read the complete interview in Russian). Kalandarov spoke about efforts the authorities are making to combat the wave of hate crimes sweeping Russia.

Kalandarov: Xenophobia today threatens the national interests of Russia. But I agree that the authorities are making good progress in this matter. First, the order on withdrawing Russian forces from Chechnya was recently signed. That is a big plus because the source of extremism, the sources of Caucasus-phobia are partly in Chechnya. Islamophobia grew dramatically after the first Chechen war. Next, the Public Chamber was created. We have a subcommission on nationalities issues and a subcommission that drafts projects related to xenophobia. This work is ongoing, which is why I think the authorities are really interested in making sure this problem does not go any further.
We should also mention the courts. I think that in many cases judges themselves hold [xenophobic] views. Second, we have not created normal conditions for protecting witnesses. People are not physically protected from various types of influence. Judges are afraid and witnesses are afraid. Because they have to keep living in that city. This defenselessness leads to cases not being pursued and to not-guilty verdicts being issued.


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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