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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Activists: Order Encourages Police Abuse

Rights groups said an Interior Ministry order violated basic constitutional rights by encouraging police to use violence and to detain people without reason in "extreme circumstances."

An internal ministry directive lists "special measures" that police should resort to under "extreme circumstances," Lev Levinson of the Human Rights Institute said Tuesday.

An addendum to ministry order No. 870, dated Sept. 10, 2002, says that "events happening in the social sphere, processes and phenomena that significantly influence the lives of people, society and state" can require special measures, said several rights groups, which recently discovered the directive.

Measures include detention and the use of force and weapons.

"It sanctions the use of unrestricted violence against one's own people," said Lyudmila Alexeyeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group.

A Interior Ministry spokesman said the order conformed to the law.