Senior Russian lawmakers reject U.S. criticism of human rights

11:16, March 14, 2010      

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Senior Russian lawmakers dismissed the United States' criticism of Russia's human rights record following the release of a U.S. report on human rights on Thursday.

The lawmakers said the U.S. government was trying to exert pressure on Russia.

Oleg Morozov, first deputy speaker of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, said Russia had taken effective measures to improve human rights and to build a democratic society but the U.S. report did not reflect the real picture in Russia.

Morozov said the U.S. administration was trying to press Russia to make concessions on certain issues.

Leonid Slutsky, first deputy chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the State Duma, said the report was neither objective nor comprehensive.

The U.S. State Department has issued an annual report on human rights since 1977, interfering in other nations' internal affairs.

The latest U.S. report claimed that Russia's racist violence decreased in the past year, but discrimination against ethnic minorities remained rampant. It also blasted "racist propaganda," massive corruption and police abuses in Russia.

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