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Chechnya: UN High Commissioner To Check Rights Situation

Moscow, 31 March 2000 (RFE/RL) - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson arrives in Moscow today at the start of a five-day visit which will include trips to Chechnya and the Northern Caucasus. Her agenda will focus on the humanitarian situation in the Northern Caucasus and on allegations of human rights abuses by Russian troops in Chechnya. Robinson has protested the large number of civilian victims of the war in Chechnya and has called for independent investigations into alleged torture and abuses by Russian troops. The Russian Foreign Ministry has criticized Robinson for what it has called her "nonobjective, biased and one-sided" criticism of the war.

Tomorrow and Sunday, Robinson is scheduled to visit a Chechen refugee camp in Ingushetia, the Chechen capital Grozny, the detention center at Chernokozovo, in northern Chechnya, and Daghestan.

Meanwhile, the Russian government said yesterday it would allow representatives of the International Red Cross to visit detention centers in Chechnya.