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UN Investigator Slams Russia

WASHINGTON — An independent United Nations investigator has sharply criticized Russia's human rights record in the North Caucasus.

Martin Scheinin, the UN investigator on human rights and counterterrorism, said Friday that local strongmen in the region continue to employ methods such as secret detention, torture, disappearances and arbitrary arrest to suppress dissent. He also cited the murder of human rights defenders, journalists and lawyers.

Speaking to a U.S. congressional panel on human rights, Scheinin blamed the Kremlin for failing to investigate adequately abuses committed by leaders it supports.

Scheinin called the killings, sometimes committed in Moscow, "a sign of a culture of lawlessness and impunity."

(AP)

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