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Russian Rights Groups Want Interior Minister To Resign

Police have been accused of brutality (file photo) 13 April 2005 -- Several Russian rights groups have called for Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev to resign for failing to stop what they said was the "arbitrary violence" of security forces in the country.

Some 10 rights groups addressed an open letter to President Vladimir Putin complaining about arbitrary arrests, police beatings, and humiliating experiences.

The groups held a news conference in Moscow during which they described five cases of police brutality during the past six months.

Ludmila Alekseva, of the Helsinki group, said in a normal country the interior minister would resign for quote "just one of those violations."

The groups also cited a study from sociologist Yuri Levada who conducted research in 42 Russian cities last June and found that 87 percent of emergency services workers said they had treated people who were victims of violence by security forces.


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