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Russia: Council Of Europe Delegation Travels To Chechnya

Moscow, 21 January 2003 (RFE/RL) -- A delegation from the Council of Europe is scheduled to travel to the Russian breakaway republic of Chechnya today on a fact-finding mission. The delegation includes Britain's Frank Judd, Poland's Tadeusz Iwinski, and Germany's Rudolf Bindig -- respectively chairmen of the Council of Europe's Political, Legal, and Migration committees.

Interfax says the three delegates were in Moscow yesterday, where they met with Russia's Deputy Prosecutor-General Yurii Biryukov. They discussed the human rights situation in Chechnya -- particularly investigations of crimes committed by federal forces against civilians.

The delegation also met with Stanislav Ilyasov, the minister in charge of Chechnya's social and economic development.

The delegation is due to leave Russia on 23 January and report to the council assembly's next week.