ADL Commends State Duma for Exempting Hate Crimes
from New Amnesty Law
Moscow, May 31, 2000 ... The Moscow office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
today praised the State Duma for exempting article 282 of the Russian Criminal
Code, which prohibits the incitement of ethnic or religious hatred, from the
amnesty law passed by lower house of Russian parliament.
"ADL commends Russian lawmakers for exempting hate crimes from the
amnesty minor-offense list," said Lev Krichevsky, Director of ADLís
Moscow Office. "This exemption creates an important precedent and sends a
clear message to law-enforcement agencies that illegal extremist, anti-Semitic
and racist activities should be confronted more vigorously under currently
existing legislation." Mr. Krichevsky added that "the exception to the
amnesty law also sends a warning to extremists that hate crimes have been
elevated to a proper status of seriousness and that hate-mongers can no longer
count on amnesty as incentive to commit their crimes."
The amnesty declared by the Duma in a unanimous vote will affect thousands of
Russian prisoners and citizens under criminal investigation who have not
committed grave crimes.
At least six persons convicted of hate crimes have been pardoned under
amnesty laws in the past five years. Several investigations of infringement of
the law against incitement of race, religious or national hatred were dismissed
under previous amnesties in 1995-1999.
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.