Calls for the killing of St. Petersburg journalist Dmitry Tsilikin to be recognised as a hate crime

posted 17 Oct 2016, 02:28 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 17 Oct 2016, 02:30 ]
7 October 2016


A petition has been initiated, addressed to the head of the Main Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of St. Petersburg and to the prosecutor of St. Petersburg, since it was announced that the investigation into the death of well-known St. Petersburg journalist, Dmitry Tsilikin, had finished.

The investigation reached the conclusion that the murder was due to a "sudden argument" of a domestic nature.

However, the person accused of the murder, Sergei Kosyrev, had previously said that he meticulously prepared to kill Dmitry Tsilikin as a deliberate hate crime towards someone of a non-traditional sexual orientation, as mass media sources had repeatedly reported, notes.

The initiators of the online petition are calling for the criminal case to be reclassified as "murder due to hatred or enmity towards a particular social group".

Among those who have signed the petition are the following: Aleksandr Sokurov (film director), Anna Aleksakhina (actress), Aleksandr Melikhov (writer), Polina Osetinskaya (pianist), Boris Vishnevskiy and Maksim Reznik (both deputies), Yakov Gilinsky (doctor of jurisprudence), Professor Lev Shcherlov (doctor of medicine), Aleksandr Verkhovsky (director of the Sova centre for Information and Analysis), Galina Artemenko, Daniil Kotsyubinsky, Irina Ozerskaya, Natalya Shkurenok (all journalists), and others – in total, more than 40 journalists, cultural figures, deputies in the Legislative Assembly and representatives of the intelligentsia. The petition was set up by representatives of the initiating group, Fedor Dubshan (a journalist) and Aleksei Sergeev (a civic activist). According to Dubshan, the petition was primarily designed to have the maximum impact on society at large. It has already gathered more than 5000 signatures on the internet and this number continues to grow.

The journalist Dmitry Tsilikin was found dead in his apartment on 31 March 2016. Sergei Kosyrev confessed to Tsilikin's murder, referring to himself as a "cleanser of society" and saying that it was his mission to kill people like Tsilikin.

Translation by Suzanne Eade Roberts