Expert Comments on Court Banning of Movement Against Illegal Immigration

posted 25 Apr 2011, 14:02 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 29 Apr 2011, 07:47 ]
Source: (info), 19/04/11

· The Courts · Articles by Human Rights Defenders · Moscow City & Moscow Region · Racism & Xenophobia

Aleksandr Verkhovsky of the Sova Centre for Information and Analysis: “Of course, deciding which statements violate the law and which do not is always a matter of dispute (you can also argue that the law itself needs to be amended). However, the case of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration is not just about ‘words.’

"A number of activists of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration have committed politically motivated crimes of violence. The organisation has never tried to deny that. This is not just a formality: in reality the Movement Against Illegal Immigration has consisted to a large extent of people practising racially-based violence. Or at least openly approving it," Alexandr Verkhovsky stresses in his blog.

"In no other country would such an organisation be able to remain legal. Even in a very tolerant country such as Great Britain, Sinn Fein was separated from the IRA.

"The problem of Russian nationalism is that it simply cannot recruit as many people as Sinn Fein did, not to mention such advanced political structures such as the Freedom Party of Austria or Italy’s Northern League. If an organisation’s size is only slightly larger than that of a local club or association, then you will immediately find young men there who are involved in very particular kinds of practices."

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Moscow City Court has banned the Movement Against Illegal Immigration and declared it an extremist organisation. On 10 March 2011 Moscow City Court ruled that the Moscow Prosecutor’s Office must present evidence of the Movement’s extremist character by 5 April. And in mid-February 2011 the Movement’s activities had been stopped by the capital’s Prosecutor’s Office until such time as Moscow City Court should consider the prosecutor’s request to declare the Movement extremist.
Rights in Russia,
25 Apr 2011, 14:03