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U.S. Rights Group Slams Ukraine For Abusing Migrants

(CTK) 30 November 2005 -- The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticized Ukraine for regularly abusing migrants and asylum seekers.

The charges are contained in a report released in Kyiv on the eve of a Ukraine-European Union summit.

HRW says abuses documented against migrants and asylum seekers include "extended detention in appalling conditions, violence, extortion, and robbery." The group singles out the case of asylum seekers from Chechnya who are forced to pay bribes to enter the country and face torture or persecution when Ukraine sends them back to Russia.

HRW also blames the EU for exacerbating these problems by pressing Ukraine to prevent migrants from reaching the territory of country members.

In the words of HRW Europe and Central Asia Director Holly Cartner, "Ukraine is failing every test when it comes to protecting the rights of migrants."