Human Rights Council head urges chief investigator, prosecutor general to look into Razvozzhayev case

Mikhail Fedotov, the head of the Russian presidential Human Rights Council, has urged Prosecutor General Yury Chaika and Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin to look into reports that Russian law enforcement bodies abducted opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev in Ukraine and tortured him to force him to confess to committing crimes.

"I have forwarded letters to the prosecutor general and the Investigative Committee chief to ask them to take the situation surrounding Razvozzhayev under personal control. I mean this very strange story of his abduction and ensuing confession," Fedotov told Interfax on Wednesday.

Fedotov said he asked Bastrykin to arrange a meeting between Human Rights Council members and Razvozzhayev and then discuss its outcomes at a roundtable conference together with the Investigative Committee and Prosecutor General's Office.

"Such form of public control is quite in compliance with the way the Council interacts with the Investigative Committee. The Investigative Committee once invited Human Rights Council members to attend interrogations of people indicted under the case concerning Sergei Magnitsky's death. Such form of public control could also be used," Fedotov said.

"Such public control over law enforcement agencies is well in compliance with President Putin's decree No. 601 of May 7," he said.

"Members of the Human Rights Council, unlike the Public Control Commission, are not entitled to visit detention centers. Therefore, I am glad that Public Control Commission members - [Valery] Borshchyov and others - visited Razvozzhayev at the detention facility. Now we have information from independent sources as to what happened to this man," Fedotov said.

Public Control Commission members said on Tuesday that, despite some obstacles, they had managed to meet with Razvozzhayev at the detention center. They said he had confirmed to them that he had been abducted in Ukraine and then humiliated and tortured in an attempt to extort a confession from him.

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