UN rights chief to visit Russia

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is to travel to Russia this month for a week-long mission aimed at forging closer ties on human rights issues, her office said Monday.

Pillay is scheduled to meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, government ministers, justice and human rights officials, parliamentarians as well as human rights groups between February 13 to 19.

"Navi Pillay, the UN human rights chief, will conduct a high-level official visit to Moscow and St Petersburg this month with a view to enhancing cooperation with the Russian Federation in the field of human rights," the UN rights office said in a statement.

UN experts have repeatedly urged Russia to carry out independent probes into allegations of human rights abuses in Chechnya and during its war with Georgia.

Pillay's office said her meetings with civil society and Russian rights campaigners would deal with discrimination, access to justice and the rule of law, women's rights, migration and the rights of people with disabilities.

© 2011 AFP

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