MOSCOW - Russia's top human rights official denounced large-scale violations in Chechnya by all sides in the conflict, and called for action to stop the abuses in a report published Thursday. Russia's human rights commissioner, Vladimir Lukin, said in annual report published in the government daily Rossiskaya Gazeta that authorities' refusal to negotiate with rebel leaders in the war-ravaged southern territory should not mean that rights violations by Russian forces go unpunished.
“It is common knowledge that all parties involved in the conflict are responsible for flagrant and large-scale violations of human rights,” he said in the report. “Not only the unity and integrity of Russia, but also the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms inside and outside the conflict zone should become priorities,” Lukin said. (MORE)