Moscow bans major far right group

18th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Moscow court on Monday outlawed the far right Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI), whose members have been linked by rights groups to hate crimes and other racist attacks.

"The Moscow city court has fully satisfied a request by the Moscow prosecutor to recognise DPNI as extremist and to forbid its activities," the prosecutor general's office said in a statement.

DPNI said on its website that there were no legal grounds for the ruling, accusing the court of rejecting its witnesses and prosecutors of using evidence that "had nothing to do with DPNI".

Last week DPNI and the already-banned Slavic Union announced plans to create a new Russian People movement unifying Russian nationalists, with the eventual goal of registering a party.

Xenophobic attitudes have grown in Russia in recent decades as economic growth attracts workers from Central Asia and the predominantly Muslim south to large cities, particularly in the construction industry.

Moscow and other cities were hit by race riots in December that were sparked by the murder by a Muslim suspect of a Russian football supporter, prompting President Dmitry Medvedev to declare xenophobia a major national concern.

© 2011 AFP

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