A Russian court has sentenced seven members of a racist movement to jail terms of up to 20 years for murdering 20 people between August 2006 and October 2007 and then posting video evidence of their crimes on the internet.
AFP - A Russian court on Monday handed jail terms of up to 20 years to seven young members of a racist group who carried out some 20 racially-motivated murders and then posted the evidence on the Internet.
The murders were carried out between August 2006 and October 2007 in the Moscow region and underlined the growing problem of racist violence in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, seen as the ringleaders of the group, were given 10-year sentences in a penal colony, the maximum the judge could give as they were minors at the time of the crime.
The 20-year term was handed to Roman Kuzin, born in 1988. Four other members of the group received jail sentences of six to twelve years. Two others had previously been acquitted.
The young men, standing in a glass-walled box and dressed in casual jeans and sweaters, remained largely impassive as the verdicts were read out.
The accused were charged with singling out people of "unSlavic" appearance and then recording their attacks on video camera before downloading footage onto the Internet.
Russian NGOs have sounded the alarm over a growing spate of racially motivated crimes in the country.
Earlier this month, the decapitated head of a migrant from Tajikistan was found wrapped in a polythene bag in a rubbish bin outside a local administration building in central Moscow.
A nationalist group claimed the murder, saying it was a warning to the authorities over the growing number of migrants in the Russian capital. Prosecutors have launched an investigation.
Date created : 2008-12-15