US Helsinki Commission criticizes Russia on protests

By REUTERS
December 8, 2011 02:32

 
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WASHINGTON - The US Helsinki Commission urged Russia on Wednesday to keep its commitments to democracy, including respect for the right to demonstrate, in the wake of a parliamentary election dismissed by Kremlin foes as a fraud.

The commission said in a statement it was "deeply troubled" by reports of mistreatment of hundreds of arrested Russian demonstrators now in pretrial detention facilities, "complaining of the lack of access to counsel, medical help, and basic foodstuffs."

"We call on the Russian government to comply with international norms and commitments to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, and urge authorities to respect the people's right to demonstrate and demand that their voices are heard and that election violations are promptly and credibly addressed," the statement said.

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