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Russia: Chechnya Rights Chief Vows To Prosecute More Troops Charged With Abuses

Znamenskoye, Russia; 15 January 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Russia's top human rights envoy for Chechnya today vowed to European monitors that Moscow will prosecute more troops charged with committing abuses in the breakaway republic. Vladimir Kalamanov made the pledge to a Council of Europe delegation visiting Chechnya. Kalamanov said a new judicial system is now in place, and the disparity between the number of complaints and cases will be rectified within three months.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe last year withdrew Russia's voting rights over the Chechen conflict. The visiting delegation is scheduled to brief the Council of Europe later this month about the human rights situation in Chechnya.

Last October, the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch issued a report documenting widespread abuse by Russian troops in Chechnya, including mass killing of civilians, indiscriminate bombings and shelling, and widespread pillage.