We are extremely concerned about persistent reports of systematic and widespread torture by official personnel within Russia. The Constitution of the Russian Federation, together with international agreements to which Russia is a party, provides an excellent framework for safeguarding human rights, in principle. However, it is clear that extra measures are urgently needed in Russia to effectively prevent torture and ill-treatment in practice.
We join with Amnesty International and the United Nations Committee against Torture (cf. their reports released in April 1997 and November 1996, respectively) in urging the Russian Federation to adopt a comprehensive action plan to eliminate torture within its detention and prison system. In particular, we urge:
Boris Yeltsin, President of the Russian Federation
Yury Skuratov, Procurator General of the Russian Federation
Anatoly Kulikov, Russian Federation Minister of Internal Affairs
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