Reply of the Press and Information Department to a question of the Georgia-News Agency concerning the possible ethnic persecution of Georgian citizens and ethnic Georgians in the Russian Federation
Question: How would you assess reports by Russian mass media sources about the possible ethnic persecution of Georgian citizens and ethnic Georgians in the Russian Federation?
Answer: We all keep a vivid memory of the immoral campaign launched by the Russian Authorities in autumn of 2006 aiming at violation of basic human rights, including the right to life, of the citizens of Georgia and ethnic Georgians (actions of the Russian Authorities then claimed the lives of a number of people)
Russian mass media sources, including Internet magazines, are currently disseminating various reports on this issue. Alexander Belov, leader of Movement Against Illegal Migration, notorious for his xenophobic sentiments, announced on 11 August that ‘he arranges raids in Moscow, aiming at the places where the Georgians tend to crowd’. Meanwhile, the Russian Authorities officially deny allegations about any kind of harassment of the citizens of Georgia and ethnic Georgians. However, it is a well- known fact that Russia’s official structures are patronizing, whether openly or secretly, the organizations promoting ethnic and racial hatred and carrying out acts of violence against people of different racial or ethnic origin.
We keep a close watch over the development of events in Russia and declare that all responsibility for any act of violence, whoever its perpetrators, against the citizens of Georgia and ethnic Georgians will fall on the Russian Authorities.
Press and Information Department