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Rights groups allege mass kidnappings, torture by Russian authorities

[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] and Russia's Memorial Human Rights Center [advocacy website, English version] Friday accused Russian authorities of arbitrary and prolonged detentions of civilians, torture, and forced confessions [AI press release]. Amnesty International has released a new report [PDF] claiming that Russia is utilizing its own "war on terror" to commit the human rights abuses, alleging that between 3,000 and 5,000 kidnappings have taken place since 1999. It is urging UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose country currently holds the presidency of the European Union [official website], to call upon Russian President Vladimir Putin at the upcoming EU-Russia summit [summit information] to put a stop to the abuses and confirm the commitment of the Russian Federation [official website in Russian] to comply with international human rights standards. From Russia, MosNews has local coverage.

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