The brutal murder of 26-year-old anti-fascist activist Ivan Khutorskoi in Moscow yesterday is yet another reminder of the dangers faced by activists and journalists in Russia. Read our press release. These execution-style murders have become all too common in Russia, and rarely are those responsible found or held accountable.
Human Rights First has frequently voiced concerns about the attacks on racial and ethnic minorities in the Russian Federation, where there has been a dramatic upsurge in violent hate crimes in recent years. People like Khutorskoi, antifascist activists opposed to racist violence, have also been frequent targets in violent attacks. Just a few months ago, on June 28, 2009, assailants used knives and air pistols in a murderous attack on another antifascist activist, Ilya Dzhaparidze. Read more about our work in Russia, and more broadly on hate crime across Europe and North America.
Khutorskoi’s murder happened on the same day that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) released its annual report “Hate Crimes in the OSCE Region – Incidents and Responses,” concluding that hate crime is still a significant problem throughout a region that includes 56 countries in North America, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. To compliment the intergovernmental report, U.S. international rights groups Human Rights First (HRF) and Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a reaction paper that highlights the failure of many of the OSCE states to fulfill commitments to combat the problem.