Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Several dozen people staged a rare demonstration outside the Russian embassy in Yerevan, Armenia on Monday to condemn and protest against the continuing racially motivated killings of Armenians and other dark-skinned residents of Russia. They accused Moscow of connivance and even complicity in the xenophobic violence widely blamed on tens of thousands of neo-Nazi skinheads operating across Russia. They also denounced the Armenian government’s reluctance to bring the Kremlin to task over the killings.

The protest was sparked by the fatal stabbing of a Russian citizen of Armenian descent by a group of rampaging youths on a train in a Moscow suburb. Artur Sardarian, 19. Sardarian’s violent death came in the wake of an uproar caused by the killing of another young Armenian. The 17-year-old Vigen Abramiants was stabbed to death on a Moscow subway platform on April 22. It is reported that there have been at least six ethnic Armenian killed in a similar fasion in Russia this year.

Russian human rights organizations say a total of at least 15 people from the Caucasus, Central Asia and Africa have lost their lives in racist attacks since January.

The following comes from A1+ (Armenia)


10 NGOs together with about 50 citizens organized a rally of protest opposite the Russian Embassy with posters saying “STOP”. They condemned the activities of the racist groupings in Russia, in particular the skinheads and demanded the RF authorities to resort to strict measures to arrest and punish the murderers.

“What is taking place in Russia against Armenian is intolerable. The Russian authorities do not carry out the necessary investigations in order to punish the organizers of the murders. We think that the idleness of the Russian authorities is a way of encouraging,” Arsen Kharatyan, member of the initiative group «For the Development of Science» complains.

Head of the Armenian Helsinki Committee Avetiq Ishkhanyan who joint the rally said, «I am sure that if the Armenian authorities had a stricter attitude towards the events, there wouldn't be such a continuation. If they sent a serious note to the Russian authorities after the desecration of the Armenian cemetery in Krasnodar, I think something would be done in that direction».

The participants of the rally handed their statement to the Russian Ambassador after which headed for the RA Foreign Ministry saying that their complaint is not only against the Russian authorities.

«One of the aims of the action is to invite the attention of the Armenian authorities to the matter. We must send lawyers from Armenia to Russia to follow the trial, as it was done in Hungary», Avetiq Ishkhanyan thinks.

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