UN panel grills Russia over rise in racist attacks

A United Nations panel questioned Monday whether Russia is doing enough to combat racism as pressure groups said the government was partly to blame for a rise in hate crime. Information from Amnesty International and a U.N. investigator showed the number of racist attacks in Russia has increased since 2002, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racism said. The Russian government does not compile figures on racist attacks, but according to the Moscow-based SOVA rights center, which monitors hate crimes in the country, at least 85 people were killed and almost 600 injured in racially motivated attacks last year. The Geneva-based UN panel said it was concerned that racist views are promoted by mainstream publishing houses and other media outlets in Russia, as well as on the Internet.