Russian Prosecutor Urges Media to Ignore Criminals’ Ethnicity

MOSCOW, February 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Prosecutor General said Wednesday that the media should stop including the ethnicity of criminals in their reports.

“I don’t think there is any need for it,” Prosecutor General Yury Chaika told lawmakers in the lower house of parliament.

Chaika’s remarks echoed comments by President Vladimir Putin made back in 2012, when the president said that journalists should refrain from giving significance to a criminal’s ethnicity, in an apparent reference to concern that crimes allegedly committed by immigrants lead to an escalation of nationalist sentiment.

Last year, anti-migrant riots rocked Moscow’s southern district of Biryulyovo after a man identified as an immigrant from a former Soviet state stabbed a 25-year-old local man to death.

Separately, Chaika told the State Duma on Wednesday that 14,261 people had been wrongly charged with criminal offenses and sent to jail in the past three years.

“People spend years in jail unlawfully,” the official said.

He added that 4,600 people had been illegally arrested or detained. He did not elaborate.

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