Russian neo-Nazi leader detained on hate crime charge

28th January 2014, Comments 0 comments

A notorious Russian neo-Nazi activist who has targeted migrant workers and gay people has been detained in Moscow over a hate crime charge after being deported from Cuba.

Maxim Martsinkevich, nicknamed "The Hatchet", faced questioning by investigators on Tuesday after flying back on Monday evening, said a spokeswoman for Moscow's Investigative Committee.

"The investigation plans to brief Martsinkevich on the charge against him and question him as the defendant," spokewoman Viktoria Tsyplenkova told the Interfax news agency.

"Yesterday he was deported and taken to Moscow," a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Vladimir Konovalov, told AFP.

The 29-year-old ultra-nationalist activist has been charged with inciting hatred after publishing "extremist" videos on his personal VKontakte social networking page. He faces up to five years in prison.

A Russian court in December issued an international arrest warrant for him and located him in Havana, where he was arrested earlier this month.

He was eventually deported for breaking immigration rules.

Martsinkevich created a group called Occupy Paedophilia which confronts and attacks suspected paedophiles and also gay people, including minors, and then posts videos of the attacks online. The group's site is still online.

He also founded a neo-Nazi group called Format-18, named after the alphabetical position of Adolf Hitler's initials, which has been banned.

He has been convicted and served jail time for several hate crimes including the mock-lynching of a Tajik man by neo-Nazis in white robes.

In a report published this month, Human Rights Watch said homophobic attacks have been on the rise in Russia over the last year, which saw the passing of a law banning "propaganda" of gay relationships to minors.


© 2014 AFP

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