Nine years ago, in the centre of Moscow, a lawyer, Stanislav Markelov, and journalist, Anastasia Baburova, were both murdered by fascist thugs. They had been known for their anti-fascist activities and Stanislav was an activist with the Russian ‘Youth against Racism in Europe’. Each year since, there has been an anti-fascist demonstration to mark their murders, with the slogan, “Never again”.
The19th January march is never more relevant; everyday hate crimes continue in Russia against immigrants, Muslims, the LGBT community and increasingly the attacks come not just from far right radicals but from the state. Therefore Socialist Alternative (CWI Russia) takes part in the demonstration not just in memory of the two murdered anti-fascists, but also to openly speak out and organize against migrantophobia, islamophobia, homophobia and other hatreds.
The clearest example of this today is the case of the journalist Ali Feruz (actual name Khudoberdi Nurmatov). The Russian courts took the decision to deport Ali to Uzbekistan, where he was born, and where he faces repression and possible torture for his refusal to cooperate with the authoritarian regime’s police. Working for the Russian paper, ‘Novaya gazeta’, Ali Feruz exposed the death of conscripts in the army and the slave-like conditions in which many immigrants in Russia are forced to work. Ali is a member of a journalists and media workers union. He is an immigrant and openly gay. While Ali’s supporters from the newspaper and his friends have been lobbying in support of Ali, it has been the public and international campaign that has, so far, prevented the Russian courts from forcing Ali back to Uzbekistan.