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Over 126,000 crimes against children resulting in almost 2,000 deaths
Over 126,000 crimes against children resulting in almost 2,000 deaths were registered in Russia in 2008, the head of Russia's Investigation Committee said on Tuesday.

"The trend [of increasing crimes against children] is alarming," Alexander Bastrykin said. "In 2008, some 2,330 children have suffered serious injuries in the attacks, 12,500 children were listed as missing."

The official earlier said that almost 50% of all sexual crimes in Russia were committed against children and every third victim of rape was a minor. A total of 784 sexual assaults on children were registered in the first nine months of 2008.

According to Investigation Committee statistics, over 300 million of websites with child pornography content are currently accessible on the internet.

"According to the Russian Interior Ministry, the quantity of child pornography sites has almost tripled in recent years, and the amount of child pornographic content has increased 25-fold," the committee said in a press release. "Average traffic of one such website is around 30,000 people per month."

Bastrykin also said his agency would ask Russia's Supreme Court to review the legality of releasing pedophiles on parole, a widespread practice in Russia.

"Release on parole cannot be applied to such people, they must not be released [even] for model conduct," he said.

A law toughening punishment for crimes against minors has recently been submitted to the lower house of Russia's parliament, the State Duma.


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