Prosecutors in Novosibirsk, Russia are investigating a local nationalist group for a possible violation of the country’s hate crime laws, according to an August 16th report in “Kommersant.”
The investigation centers around a brochure recently published by a group calling itself the “Siberian Brotherhood,” and whether it violates Russia’s harsh, but rarely enforced, anti-hate speech laws.
“If you are cowardly and weak,” the brochure states, “then you are not capable of lynch law. Your fate is
to be a slave. But if you thirst for vengeance and are capable of taking up arms or preparing a Molotov cocktail, then join the ranks of the ‘Siberian Brotherhood.'” Also, under the chapter heading “Zionism Will Not Pass,” the brochure calls for “changes in the constitutional structure by force,” while several others incite “class warfare unrestrained by any any law.”
Under Article 282 of the Russian Constitution, crimes commited on the basis of ethnicity or aimed at inciting ethnic hatred are subject to more stringent penalties than non-hate based violent crimes. In practice however, very few ethnically motivated crimes are prosecuted using the statutes.
The “Siberian Brotherhood” is a relatively unknown group. Prosecutors have not named anyone yet in charging documents and the number of members in the organization is not known.