ADL Calls on Russian Authorities
to Investigate Anti-Semitic Incident
Moscow, May 28, 2002 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on Russian authorities to investigate an anti-Semitic incident on Kiev highway, near Moscow. A young woman suffered injuries in an explosion May 27 while she was attempting to remove a roadside sign reading, "Death to the Jews!"
Alexander Axelrod, Director of ADL's Moscow Office, issued the following statement:
We are greatly concerned by the incident on the Kiev highway. ADL has repeatedly called on Russian law enforcement agencies to address the lax response to anti-Semitism. In recent months there has been an increase in anti-Semitic incidents, including physical attacks on Jews, the defacement of synagogues with swastikas and the desecration of Jewish cemeteries. Anti-Semitic publications continue to be sold and distributed in the center of Moscow. However, to date, most of the perpetrators of these acts have not been arrested, and the majority of hate crimes cases are dismissed before trial on the grounds of lack of evidence.
Unfortunately, the failure to take these incidents seriously has led to an environment where such attacks are more acceptable in Russian society. Hushing up manifestations of anti-Semitism and qualifying hate crimes as simple hooliganism cannot but embolden extremists to believe they can act with impunity.
ADL calls on the Russian government and law enforcement agencies and administrations at all levels to ensure that hate crimes investigations are taken seriously. We urge that the case of the explosion on Kiev highway will be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.