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Russia's Presidential Council on Human Rights files complaints with police, investigators, and National Guard about excessive force against protesters

Russia’s Presidential Council on Human Rights has asked a number of law enforcement agencies to investigate whether police and National Guard officers illegally beat protesters during demonstrations for free elections in Moscow. The Council submitted complaints to the leaders of Russia’s Internal Affairs Ministry, which runs the country’s police force, as well as the Russian National Guard and the Investigative Committee.

The Council’s complaints referenced a number of specific incidents in which law enforcement officers used violent force against protesters on July 27, August 3, and August 10, including a much-publicized attack in which a police officer punched a woman in the abdomen. While individual citizens have previously asked the Investigative Committee to investigate police violence at the protests, none of their requests have been accepted thus far.

The Council on Human Rights has a history of offering some consideration to human rights issues raised by opposition activists, though the Council is primarily composed of individuals who are not unfriendly to the Putin regime.

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