Assassination of Mr. Samba Lampsar - RUS 001 / 0406 / 048

Urgent Appeal

The Observatory has been informed by the NGO Memorial Saint-Petersburg of the murder of Mr. Samba Lampsar, an active member of « African Unity », an NGO which promotes tolerance and fights against racism, and a student of the university of Saint-Petersburg, native of Senegal.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) ad the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in the Russian Federation.

Brief description of the situation :

According to the information received, on April 7, 2006, Mr. Samba Lampsar and several other African students were attacked by an unknown person, while walking in a street of the town center, after having participated in the weekly celebration of inter-cultural friendship between Russians and foreigners at the usual club for this meeting. The attacker was hidden in the archway of a yard, just besides of the club, and suddenly stood in the students’ way, shouting nazi slogans. As the students were running away from the aggressor, he shot at them, killing Mr. Lampsar. The murderer then ran to another yard, and managed to disappear. His presumed shotgun, decorated with a swastika and the inscription « white power » written on it, was later found in the surroundings.

According to the information received, the public prosecutor opened an investigation into this murder on the basis of article 105-2 of the Russian Criminal Code, dealing with « hate crime ».

Mr. Lampsar had actively participated in anti-racism events, in particular in a series of anti-racism lessons giving at several schools in Saint-Petersburg, aiming at promoting the African culture and tolerance.

The Observatory expresses its deepest concern regarding the assassination of Mr. Samba Lampsar, which occurs in the context of an increasing climate of hostility against human rights defenders and a growth in xenophobia and racism, directed at foreigners and minorities. Indeed, the way these facts have occurred may let one think that this attack is an ambush aiming at the persons who participate in anti-racism events.

Moreover, the Observatory is deeply concerned by the relative impunity enjoyed by the attackers of human rights defenders, and urges the Russian authorities to ensure that all necessary measures will be taken in order to investigate into this murder (See conclusions of the International fact-finding mission sent by the Observatory to Saint Petersburg from 18 to 23 June 2005, Russian Federation: Attacks on human rights defenders, Russian authorities guilty of negligence).

Action requested :

Please write to the Russian authorities urging them to :

i. conduct a fair, impartial and independent inquiry into Mr. Lampsar’s murder, in order to identify the perpetrators, bring them to justice and pronounce sentences proportional to the gravity of the crime;

ii. put an immediate end to all acts of violence against human rights defenders in the Russian Federation;

iii. comply with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular article 12.2, which provides that "the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually or in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration";

iv. more generally, comply with the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and regional and international mechanisms concerning human rights, to which the Russian Federation is a party.


· Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of the Russian Federation, Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, Faxes:+ 7 095 206 5173 / 230 2408, Email:

· Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Ustinov, Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, 103793 g. Moskva K-31, Ul. B. Dimitrovka, d 15a, Prokuratura Rossiyskoy Federatsii, Generalnomu prokuroru Ustinovu V., Russian Federation, Fax: + 7 095 292 88 48

· Chairwoman of the Presidential Human Rights Commission of the Russian Federation, Ella Pamfilova, Rossiyskaya Federatsiya,103132 g. Moskva, Staraya ploshchad, d 8/5,pod 3,Predsedatele Komissii po pravam cheloveka pri Prezidente, Pamfilove, Elle., Russian Federation, Fax:+70952064855

· Minister of Internal Affairs, Rashid Nurgaliev, ul. Zhitnaya, 16, 117049 Moscow, Russian Federation, Telegram: Rossiia, 117049, Moskva, Ministru vnutrennykh del, Fax: + 7 095 237 49 25

· Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, Smolenskaya-Sennaya pl, 32/34, 121200 Moscow, Russian Federation, Telegram: Rossiia, 121200 Moskva, Ministru inostrannykh del, Fax:+ 7 095 244 2203

· Ambassador Leonid Skotnikov, Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations in Geneva Av. de la Paix 15, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland, e-mail :, fax: +4122 734 40 44


Paris - Geneva, April 10, 2006

Kindly inform the Observatory of any action undertaken quoting the code number of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, an FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
Email :
Tel et fax FIDH : + 33 1 43 55 55 05 / 33 1 43 55 18 80
Tel et fax OMCT : +41 22 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29

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