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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

01/28/2000

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Assembly Censures Russia Over Chechnya

By Sarah Karush The Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly Thursday voted to censure Moscow over Chechnya but backed away from threats to suspend Russia from the 41-nation human rights organization. The decision came after Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov defended Russia's position before the assembly in Strasbourg, France, and denied the military campaign was violating Chechens' human rights. ""To violate human rights, they have to exist. Can any one of you say that a single norm of the Council of Europe existed there in the past years?"" Ivanov said, Reuters reported. The argument was similar to the one he used in a letter sent earlier this month to the council's secretary-general. The letter, which has not been made public, was obtained this week by The Moscow Times. The assembly approved a report demanding that Russia stop attacks on civilians, begin talks with Chechen authorities and improve access to Chechnya for humanitarian agencies, international monitors and media.

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