MINELRES: Re: Groundbreaking Study Finds Massive Ethnic Profiling by Moscow Police
Wed Jun 14 21:48:16 2006
Original sender: Justice Initiative <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Open Society Justice Initiative
For immediate release
Contact: David Berry at +1 212 548 0385 (New York).
GROUNDBREAKING STUDY FINDS MASSIVE ETHNIC PROFILING BY MOSCOW POLICE
Non-Slavs Over Twenty Times More Likely to Be Stopped than Slavs
Moscow, 13 June, 2006
A groundbreaking report released today finds that riders on the Moscow Metro
who appear non-Slavic are over twenty times more likely to be stopped by
police than those who look Slavic. Riders who appear non-Slavic make up less
than five percent of all Moscow Metro patrons but account for over half of
all people stopped by the Moscow Metro police.
The finding is contained in Ethnic Profiling in the Moscow Metro, a new
report produced by the Open Society Justice Initiative and JURIX, a
Moscow-based constitutional law NGO.
“This is the most extreme ethnic profiling ever measured,” said James A.
Goldston, executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative.
“The difference between how often Moscow Metro police stop Slavs and how
often they stop non-Slavs is so massive that it cannot be explained on
non-discriminatory, legitimate law enforcement grounds.”
Ethnic Profiling in the Moscow Metro quantifies for the first time the
prevalence of ethnic profiling by police in Russia. The study employed
the same scientific means to quantify the practice in Moscow as were used
to measure racial profiling in the United States and United Kingdom.
Trained monitors observed over 1,000 police stops in the Moscow Metro
system. Based on data from their observations and interviews with victims
of these stops, the report proves not only the pervasiveness of ethnic
profiling in the Moscow Metro but also its futility, as the study
concludes that these stops rarely result in arrest or uncover minor
“Moscow, like other major cities, attracts migrants and faces serious
threats of terrorist attacks — and simply cannot afford to have police
wasting time and resources by stopping anyone who looks different,” said
Goldston. “Ethnic profiling is ineffective, perpetuates discrimination and
violates international human rights norms.”
The release of the report comes during a visit to Russia by UN Special
Rapporteur on Racism and Xenophobia Doudou Diène.
In addition to giving a scientific measure of racial profiling, the
report provides recommendations for reforming the Moscow Metro police’s
practices, including devising stop-and-search guidelines based on behavior
and other objective factors rather than apparent ethnicity, and amending
legislative provisions so that patrol police are not responsible for
collecting fines for document violations.
Ethnic Profiling in the Moscow Metro will be discussed at a conference,
“Racism in Russia,” taking place June 14 in Brussels. The conference
brings together several human rights organizations—including Amnesty
International, the European Roma Rights Centre and the Open Society
Institute-Brussels, in addition to the Justice Initiative — to discuss
racially motivated attacks and systemic racial discrimination in Russia
The full report is available at:
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