MINELRES: Re: Groundbreaking Study Finds Massive Ethnic Profiling by Moscow Police

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Wed Jun 14 21:48:16 2006

Original sender: Justice Initiative <info@justiceinitiative.org>

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Contact: David Berry at +1 212 548 0385 (New York).


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
administrative infractions. 

“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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