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Russia: Yeltsin Condemns Executions In Chechnya

Moscow, 4 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin today condemned the public execution of two people in the breakaway republic of Chechnya the day before. He denounced it as "lynch law" and called it a "medieval act."

Interfax news agency cited Yeltsin as saying in Moscow that such a thing is impermissible in civilized society. He said Islamic law contradicts Russian laws and the constitution.

Yeltsin said Russia is thinking about how to fulfill the Council of Europe's demands to abolish the death penalty while Chechnya is carrying out executions in such a public and what he called provocative fashion.

The speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, Gennady Seleznyov, called the executions "barbaric."

The two people put to death by a firing squad, a man and a woman, had been found guilty of premeditated murder and conspiracy.

The human rights organisation Amnesty International today also condemned the executions calling them cruel, inhuman and outmoded form of punishment.