Torture is still common in Russia, says Amnesty
Friday 04 April 1997
The London-based human rights group said that members of ethnic minorities, notably Chechens and other people from the Caucasus, were particularly vulnerable to harsh treatment when held in police custody.
Amnesty criticised the Russian authorities for keeping in force certain laws from the pre-1991 Soviet era which, it said, encouraged abuses and conflicted with international standards. The report also observed that some post-Communist legislation, adopted with the ostensible aim of fighting organised crime, also tended to lead to the violation of civil rights.
"Under the guise of fighting crime, the Russian Federation has expanded the powers of security and law enforcement agencies to the detriment of constitutional rights, and members of ethnic minorities are particularly vulnerable," Amnesty said.
According to the report, conditions in some Russian prisons are so grim that they can be described as "amounting to torture". In most large pre- trial detention centres across the country, inmates are reported to have died from lack of oxygen.
At one overcrowded prison in Novokuznetsk, in the Kemerovo mining region of western Siberia, 11 prisoners died of heat stroke in July 1995, the report said. Temperatures rose to 51C in cells that were designed to hold 10 people, but were actually crammed with as many as 25.
Describing human rights abuses in the Russian-Chechen war, which broke out in December 1994, Amnesty noted the use of electric shock, hostage- taking and rape as a form of punishment against villagers suspected of supporting the Chechen rebels. It documented cases of torture and ill- treatment by both sides.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 3 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Harrison Ford plane crash: Actor will make full recovery thanks to 'beautifully executed' landing
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Oxford whistleblower's attempt to protect young victim of a sadistic gang went unheeded
How Homer Simpson discovered the Higgs boson over a decade before scientists
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A long-established, technology rich ...