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Igor Kalyapin was attacked after being thrown out of his hotel in Grozny.

A leading Russian rights activist has been attacked by masked men in Grozny, pelted with eggs, paint, and a cake after he was evicted from the hotel he was staying in.

Igor Kalyapin, who heads the Committee to Prevent Torture, had traveled to Grozny to witness the latest proceedings against two Ukrainian men facing charges for allegedly fighting against Russian forces during the first Chechen war in 1996.

Late on March 16, Kalyapin was ordered to leave his hotel by the hotel's administrator, accompanied by armed men.

As Kalyapin stood on the sidewalk outside the hotel, an RFE/RL correspondent watched as around 15 masked men attacked him, throwing eggs, paint, some sort of powder on him, and punching and kicking him.

Kalyapin did not appear to be seriously injured.

The incident happened a week after a minibus belonging to the Committee to Prevent Torture and carrying activists and journalists traveling to Grozny was attacked by some 20 masked men with knives and clubs.

Some of the journalists' equipment was smashed or stolen.

Iran has slammed a United Nations report criticizing human rights in the Islamic republic.

Ahmed Shaheed, the UN's special rapporteur on Iran, raised concerns about the extremely high rate of executions, especially for juvenile offenders, in the country.

In his report to the UN Human Rights Council on March 14, Shaheed said "with at least 16 juvenile offenders reportedly hanged in 2014-15, Iran remains one of a few countries still resorting to this practice despite a strict prohibition against it under international law."

But Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said in a statement on March 16 that Shaheed's report was "biased and pursues to achieve political purposes."

Iran is "committed to its obligations with regards to promotion of human rights in compliance with the constitution and religious values" and is preparing a charter on citizens’ rights, he added.

Shaheed noted that individuals accused of national security and drug-related crimes in Iran are often deprived of the most basic due process and fair trial rights.

Based on reporting by AFP and IRNA

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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