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Lukin Disagrees With Freedom House Report On Freedoms In Russia

MOSCOW. April 4 (Interfax) - Russian commissioner for human rights Vladimir Lukin has said he disagrees with an assessment of the level of freedom in Russia as assessed by the Freedom House human rights organization.

"My opinion is that these critics overreacted, to put it mildly. Of course, Russia is not an ideal country from the point of view of the protection of citizens' rights. For instance, it is reflected in my report. But saying that Russia does not differ a lot from North Korea on the issue means either insulting Russia undeservedly or making a very big compliment to North Korea," Lukin said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper published on Wednesday.

"There are many more freedoms in Russia today than in the Soviet Union at its final stage, let alone the early Soviet era," he said,

"I would suggest that the respectable organization Freedom House conduct the following experiment. They should compile a report criticizing the situation with human rights in Russia and North Korea and visit both countries with this report. I can guarantee our colleagues that they will return safe and sound from Russia. After this, they should go to North Korea. We shall see how this will end," the ombudsman said.