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New Committee To Protect Rights Of Tatarstan's Detained Muslims

TUBAN KAMA, Russia -- A newly established committee has been created in Tatarstan to protect the rights of Muslims in detention in the Russian republic.

Lawyer Almira Zhukova, who will lead the private committee, told RFE/RL on January 7 that the panel will focus on recent allegations of torture of Muslims in Tatarstan.

Lawyers and relatives of two Tatar Muslims arrested last month say they confessed to arson attacks against two Orthodox churches only after investigators tortured them.

Tatarstan was at the center of a torture scandal in 2012 after a suspect was allegedly tortured to death while in police custody in Kazan.

The chairman of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, Latif Huseynov, told RFE/RL last month that the committee will visit Tatarstan to look into the torture allegations.