Human rights

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The Independent Online
THE LOWER house of parliament in Moscow ratified the European human rights convention but avoided a ban on capital punishment, despite promising to halt the death penalty in January 1996 when it joined the Council of Europe, the human rights organisation.

But during a hard-fought 1996 re-election campaign, President Boris Yeltsin continued to approve executions rather than appear soft on crime. Ninety- two people were executed in 1996, placing Russia third in the world in executions behind China and Ukraine.

- AP, Moscow