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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Amnesty Raps Rights Record

Human rights are regularly violated in Russia and are worsening in some cases during the economic crisis, Amnesty International said Thursday.

The human rights group said it would ask U.S. President Barack Obama to bring up Russia's human rights record when he visits Moscow in July. Amnesty said it would like to ask President Dmitry Medvedev to press Obama on U.S. abuses as well but can't because of Russian bureaucracy.

Amnesty said in an annual report that police routinely violate basic constitutional rights and that the crisis was causing authorities to crack down on people protesting poverty and unemployment.

"The current global economic crisis could aggravate the human rights crisis. It's like a ticking time bomb," said Sergei Nikitin, director of Amnesty International in Russia.

The report says former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was denied parole last year, is an example of Russia's lack of respect for the rule of law in the judicial system.

It says prisoners, migrants and human rights activists are among those who have suffered violence and other abuses, and it criticizes police for violently breaking up unsanctioned rallies.

"Amnesty International's U.S. section will introduce the U.S. president to the human rights problems in Russia before his visit in July so that he will be able to mention them," Nikitin said.

Obama will make his first visit to Russia from July 6 to 8.

"We'd like to do the same thing for President Medvedev and send him a list of human rights problems in the U.S., like capital punishment, but we don't see an opportunity to do that," he said.

He said Amnesty has tried to send written appeals to the Kremlin in the past, but none of them have reached the president.