Russia court bans neo-Nazi group for extremist ideology

[JURIST] The Moscow City Court ruled Tuesday that the Slavic Union (SS) violates Russia's extremism laws, banning the organization. The SS, whose initials are the same as the Nazi paramilitary, was one of Russia's largest neo-Nazi [JURIST news archive] organizations. City prosecutors initiated the action [Moscow Times report], accusing the group of promoting nationalistic supremacy similar to the ideology of Nazi Germany. SS leader Dmitry Dyomushkin says he plans to appeal the ban [ITAR-TASS report]. He warned that the ban will anger radical ultranationalists into retaliation [AP report].

Earlier this month, a Moscow City Court judge known for presiding over cases involving neo-Nazi groups was killed [JURIST report] while leaving his apartment. Russia is currently struggling to limit hate crimes, which decreased in 2009 [JURIST report] according to the SOVA Center [advocacy website]. Last month, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office [official website, in Russian] banned Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf [Britannica backgrounder], finding it in violation of laws against extremism. In December, the Russian Supreme Court [official website, in Russian] upheld [JURIST report] a lower court decision to shut down the Taganrog Jehovah's Witness congregation and ban the distribution of 34 Jehovah's Witness publications, finding both the Jehovah's Witness congregation and the publications to be extremist. In 2007, the Russian parliament approved legislative amendments to change the prevailing definition of extremist crime [JURIST report] in Russian law to include activities taken for "political or ideological hatred."



 

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