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Lawyer Speaks On Russia's Human Rights Institute Proposal

MOSCOW. Oct 29 (Interfax) - A prominent Russian lawyer suggested on Monday that an international human rights defense center he is organizing in Europe be combined with a "freedom and democracy institute" that Russia has offered to set up in the European Union.

"I don't exclude the possibility that these two projects can be combined and form the basis for an institute for human rights problems that the Russian side has suggested during a recent (EU-Russia) summit in Portugal (on October 26)," lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who is a member of the Russian Public Chamber, told Interfax.

The task of the center he is organizing is "to study and generalize practices of human rights violations in various countries," Kucherena said.

"There is need for monitoring in order to understand why various human rights are violated, whether because of imperfect legislation or because of gaps in law enforcement practice," he said.

"It makes no difference in this case which country one is speaking about, whether it is Russia or EU countries. Experience has shown that there are human rights violations in all countries, regardless of their social and political system," Kucherena said.

During the summit, Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates said the EU welcomed Russia's offer to set up a "freedom and democracy institute" and said the EU and Russia should discuss the technicalities of the proposal.