29 March 2011
The chief prosecutor in the Russian capital has refused to prohibit the sale of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, one of the world's most infamous anti-Semitic texts, according to the Moscow-based organization For Human Rights. It had asked the city to either ban the sale of the book or to publish it with a notice stating clearly that the text is a fake. Documenting an alleged Jewish plot for taking over the world, the text was written by the Russian secret police in 1901 and then disseminated internationally in the early 20th century. Its original publication coincided with the tsarist wave of anti-Jewish pogroms that began in the 1880s.
The human rights organization said Moscow's chief prosecutor based his decision on a 2009 recommendation from the Russian Academy of Sciences' Psychology Institute, which concluded that its publication did not break Russian law. The Institute's report said the text "lacks information leading to acts of violence against other (non-Russian) nationalities, social and religious groups."
For Human Rights said it had appealed the prosecutor's decision. A list of illegal extremist publications prepared by the Russian Justice Ministry includes more than 800 books, including Islamist pamphlets, neo-Nazi literature and anti-Semitic brochures.
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