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Prosecutor's Office: Rights Violations 'Ubiquitous' in Police Force

The Prosecutor General's Office has sent official notification to Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev that rights violations committed by law enforcement agencies are "ubiquitous."

"Instances of the violations of the rights of citizens and the inobservance of the requirements of the Russian Administrative Code by law enforcement agencies are ubiquitous," the prosecutor's office said in a statement released Tuesday.

Though the ministry has yet to comment on the statement, which noted several specific instances of rights violations and fabricated statistics, Kolokoltsev has made commanding discipline in the nation's police force a priority.

In an interview published Tuesday in Kommersant, he said he would hold police chiefs responsible for violations by their officers. "Right now, I don't see any other options for maintaining order."

"The basic solution is to tighten the screws and increase discipline," he told the newspaper.

The prosecutors' statement notes that "citizens detained by police are often held in conditions that present a threat to their life and health."

In order to "artificially inflate performance indicators," Saratov police began administrative proceedings against dead people, 39 criminal cases based on fabricated reports were opened in Penza, and 11 deliberately misleading police statements were made in Kemerovo, among others, the statement said.

In Karelia, a drunk driver was allowed to continue driving, then struck and killed two pedestrians, the statement said, adding that a criminal negligence case had been opened.

Some 140,000 police statements have been appealed following checks by prosecutors this year and last, the statement said.

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