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Putin acknowledges human rights abuses during talks with UN envoy

Moscow, 23 February: The situation in the Russian law-enforcement system and in the army has been discussed during a meeting between the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and the UN's high commissioner for human rights, Louise Arbour.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the head of the Russian president's Council for Promoting the Development of the Institutions of a Civil Society and Human Rights, Ella Pamfilova, said that, during her talks with the president, Arbour had expressed "concern over the state of the law-enforcement system in Russia and over the human rights of people who, for one reason or another, come into contact with the law-enforcement agencies".

The head of the presidential council noted that Putin had frankly acknowledged the existence of this problem, notably in the North Caucasus. "The president spoke about this frankly and said Russia was willing to tackle the problem jointly with the UN," Pamfilova said.

She also said Arbour "had drawn attention to the situation in the Russian army, to the problem which everybody is talking about - bullying".