- Associated Press - Friday, December 21, 2018

MOSCOW (AP) - The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe says it has confirmed “very serious human rights violations” in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya.

The allegations include harassment, persecution, arbitrary arrests, torture and even extrajudicial killings of LGBTI persons, suspected drug users and teenagers.

The OSCE says “the climate of intimidation has increased to the extent that hardly anybody in Chechnya feels free to speak about the human rights problem anymore.” In a report, it said when it comes to Chechnya, “a special regime of impunity is tolerated for the sake of stability.”

Russia declined to allow the group to send a fact-finding mission to Chechnya. The OSCE findings on rights abuses were based on sources outside Russia and on interviews with victims.

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