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Britain’s human rights report ‘partial`: Russia

Reporters Without Borders ranked Russia 142 out of 179 countries in their 2011 Press Freedom Index.



Moscow: A report on human rights in Russia, prepared by the British Foreign Office, has been termed by Moscow as "not impartial and open minded" and that its "authenticity raises serious doubts".

Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry`s ombudsman for human rights, said Moscow believes that the "Human Rights and Democracy Report in 2011" was non-objective and the serious democratic reforms successfully implemented in Russia were not considered, RIA Novosti reported.

The document said human rights issues remain a top priority in Russian-British bilateral relations.

"Britain`s approach to assessing the real situation in the human rights sphere in our country is not impartial and open minded. Information and sources were used and the authenticity raises serious doubts. Unfortunately, and this time the authors apparently deliberately left out of the report serious democratic reforms, which were successfully implemented in Russia," said Dolgov.

Among the major fields of concern in Russia, British human rights advocates named human rights abuses in the North Caucasus, journalists` security and women and minority rights.

According to the report, Britain spent GBP 900,000 in 2011 to fight violations in the North Caucasus via the British government-backed Conflict Prevention Pool.

It said Britain also funded several Russian non-government organisations working to ensure journalists` rights, freedom of expression and assembly as well as women and gay rights.

Dolgov, however, said Moscow was ready to continue discussions with London about issues related to human rights, both in Russia and in Britain.

"It should be a fair, constructive and mutually respectful conversation, free from stereotypes of confrontation and politicised morals," he added.

Reporters Without Borders ranked Russia 142 out of 179 countries in their 2011 Press Freedom Index.

IANS

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