Amnesty International says a new law that decriminalizes some forms of domestic violence in Russia poses a greater risk to women.
On February 7, President Vladimir Putin signed the law that categorizes as administrative offenses -- instead of criminal acts -- cases of domestic violence that result in pain but not bodily harm.
Supporters say the change is intended to prevent unwarranted interference by the state in domestic matters.
But Amnesty International on February 8 called the legislation "a sickening attempt to further trivialize domestic violence, an issue the Russian government has long attempted to downplay."
The rights watchdog urged Russia to scrap "this abusive legislation and put together a comprehensive package of measures to address the vast scale of domestic violence in Russia once and for all."
With reporting by Reuters, TASS, and Interfax