7 months of correctional labour for distribution of anti-Roma leaflets

On October 3, 2012 Leninsky district court in Tyumen passed a judgment on a criminal case of distribution of anti-Roma leaflets. As it was determined by the court, Tatiana Salakhova (inhabitant of Tyumen) made leaflets which contained statements with humiliation of national dignity and incitement to hatred towards Roma people and distributed them in public places (on walls in a shop and a public bath-house). The court found Salakhova guilty in incitement to ethnic or racial hatred and sentenced her to 7 months of correctional labour.

The court found and evaluated such actions criminal as they could be dangerous for the whole group of the population. ADC ‘Memorial’ knows about difficult situation of Roma settlements in Tyumen when legal and approved by the authorities construction of Roma settlements arrangements caused aggressive reaction from local people. In this situation distribution of leaflets containing incitement to ethnic or racial hatred towards a vulnerable social group could cause hate crimes and it had to be prevented. So, actions by the law-enforcement authorities were well-timed and relevant. This is the very rare situation when a criminal case of hatred towards Roma people was initiated, investigated and taken to court. Up to now in similar situations in other regions even efforts to start investigations weren’t successful and, as a rule, couldn’t make the authorities initiate criminal cases. Thus, there were two applications in ADC ‘Memorial’ with complaints about anti-Roma leaflets in public places in Pskov and Pskovskaya region. In spite of efforts by human rights activists investigations on both applications were not started. After unsuccessful effort to start investigation on one of the applications at national level, a complaint to Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) was lodged.

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