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One in Four Russians Witness Police Brutality — Poll

Valeriy Pereverzev / Facebook

Almost a quarter of Russians have witnessed or experienced beatings carried out by police and medical staff, a new report has revealed.

Some 22 percent of people said they'd seen police attacks firsthand, while 12.3 percent of respondents said that they had personally fallen victim to police brutality, a survey by human rights organization "Public Verdict" and Moscow's Metodicheskaya Laboratoriya found. Another 28.6 percent of Russians had heard of similar cases from family and friends, Russia's RBC news outlet reported.

The survey also found that most Russians described torture and violence as unacceptable, but that many respondents changed their minds when presented with specific situations.

Just 41 percent of respondents said that officials should be able to carry out “minor” human rights violations for the greater good, but that figure rose when participants were asked whether a kidnapper should be tortured to give up the location of their underage victims (reaching 63 percent), or whether a doctor should be able to violently restrain a mentally-ill patient in order to administer drugs (73 percent).

Some 786 people were surveyed as part of the study, RBC reported.

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