The project provides legal and social assistance to victims of violent hate crimes, including involvement of a lawyer to represent interests during an investigation and in court.
Help to Victims of Violent Hate Crimes
Since December 1, 2011 Civic Assistance Committee together with the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis has started the project of assistance to victims of attacks motivated by ethnic, racial, religious or other hatred in Moscow and the Moscow region. The project is designed for one and a half year and supported by the German Fund “Memory. Responsibility. Future”.
“Memory. Responsibility. Future” Fund was established on August 2, 2000, by the vote of all German Bundestag fractions and until 2007 was dealing with humanitarian payments to former enslaved and forced workers and other victims of National Socialism in different countries. Today “Memory. Responsibility. Future” Fund supports projects and initiatives to help victims of human rights violations at present, in particular, victims of violent crimes motivated by anti-Semitism and xenophobia.
Civic Assistance Committee with the support of the Fund will be able to assist the victims of violent hate crimes with legal support, including legal representation of their interests at the stage of investigation and in court. If the attack caused harm to health, we will be able to pay expenses for medical examination (including psychologist’s counselling) and necessary medications. Those who due to the attack became unable to work could receive some humanitarian aid. In some cases it is possible to refund transport expenses.
A separate line of the project is monitoring hate crimes in Moscow and Moscow region, as well as monitoring the coverage of these crimes by mass media. The main role in monitoring plays the partner of the project, SOVA Center for Information and Analysis; its staff will train Committee workers and volunteers to carry out such monitoring. The SOVA experts will hold two seminars on international and Russian legislation in the area of combating hate crimes for Committee lawyers and social workers.
Project staff and volunteers find awareness campaign very important for those who most often become subject to hate crimes: natives of Central and Middle Asia, refugees from Afghanistan, foreign students from Africa and others. We design leaflets in several languages on how to behave in case of the attack, and will distribute them in the counselling room of Civic Assistance Committee, where up to 3, 000 visitors per year have been received, as well as in communities, universities, prayer houses and other places. The leaflets include the telephone number of the information line for victims of such attacks: +7(903)577-55-87 (call during working hours). We plan to publish a booklet about the project’s resources for partner organizations; to let our colleagues know about the additional kinds of assistance we can provide to victims of such attacks.
More detailed information on “Stop the hate crimes!” program of “Memory. Responsibility. Future” Fund is here.
Soon the program website will be available in Russian.