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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Human Rights in Russia Showing 'Mixed Progress'

Combined Reports

WASHINGTON -- Russia's human rights record showed mixed progress in 1996, although the end of the war in Chechnya was a "genuine bright spot," the U.S. State Department said Thursday.

On the one hand, the department's annual report on human rights abuses worldwide noted that free elections were held for a president and a parliament. On the other hand, it said prison conditions worsened, lengthy pretrial detention continued, and "violent hazing of military conscripts sparked new protests."

In addition, the report said, "journalists throughout Russia covering controversial issues were subjected to pressure, physical violence and even death, while the government appeared unresponsive to requests for investigation of these cases.

Furthermore, "discrimination against minorities remains a problem and discrimination against women in some sectors has intensified in recent years."

One "genuine bright spot" in Russia, the study said, was the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya.

Before the withdrawal, "domestic and foreign human rights groups continued to document serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights," the report said.

"Violations committed by Russian forces continued to occur on a much larger scale than those of the Chechen rebels."

"Russian forces engaged in the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force, resulting in numerous civilian deaths."

These actions were in conflict with a number of Russia's international obligations, the report said, adding that tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and more than 500,000 people have been displaced since the conflict began in December 1994. ()