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Torture widespread in Chechnya: HRW report

[JURIST] Torture has become widespread in the strife-ridden southern Russian republic of Chechnya [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], with more than 100 known cases in both official and secret detention centers, according to a new report [contents; PDF text] released Monday by Human Rights Watch [advocacy website]. The HRW report, addressed to the UN Committee against Torture [official website] as the committee finishes its review of Russia [JURIST news archive], documents torture that allegedly took place from April to September under Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov [BBC profile] and local law enforcement officials. HRW said that the alleged perpetrators of abuse rarely receive punishment, fostering a "climate of impunity" and encouraging Russian officials to refuse visits by UN torture investigators [JURIST report]. Human Rights Watch asked the committee to compel Russia to prosecute perpetrators of torture. HRW has more.

Last week, the European Court of Human Rights [official website] held Russia legally responsible [JURIST report] for the deaths and disappearance of three people in Chechnya. Multiple rights groups and investigatory bodies have previously condemned Russian for rights abuses and torture [JURIST report] in the region, where separatists are fighting to split from Moscow.

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