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Clinton Should Pressure Ivanov on Chechnya

(New York, April 25, 2000) -- Human Rights Watch today urged the Clinton Administration to keep up the pressure on Russia for a credible investigation into atrocities committed in Chechnya.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights voted in Geneva today to express grave concern over widespread human rights violations in Chechnya. The United States voted in favor of the resolution. President Clinton is meeting today with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.

The resolution calls on Russia to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of serious human rights abuse in the war in Chechnya. But Human Rights Watch research has shown that no serious Russian investigations have taken place so far

"The U.S. president is the first foreign leader to meet with Ivanov after the U.N. vote," said Holly Cartner, executive director of the Europe and Central Asia division of Human Rights Watch. "Clinton has a real opportunity to show that the international community means business on Chechnya."

Human Rights Watch has documented serious war crimes by Russian troops, including mass killings and summary executions, rapes, widespread looting, as well as torture and beatings in "filtration camps" (see http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/russia/chechnya/).

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