Amnesty International highlights Russia concerns

Another year, another report marking Russia’s dismal human rights record. This time it comes via Amnesty International, which highlighted the country in its annual report.

“Human rights defenders and independent journalists continued to face threats, harassment and attacks, and investigations yielded few concrete results,” the report said, according to RIA-Novosti. The murders of journalist Anna Politkovskaya and human rights defender Natalia Estemirova remain unsolved. Both focused their work on the troubled southern republic of Chechnya. The report singled out the “volatile” situation in the south, expressing concern over illegal detentions, torture and executions that have seen a "complete lack of effective investigations," according to AFP.

Amnesty also called out the Russian government for failing to allow peaceful protests, citing violent clampdowns on opposition marches and gay rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as the group of environmentalists and concerned citizens hoping to stop the building of a road through the Khimki Forest outside Moscow.

It said that despite nearly daily rhetoric from President Dmitry Medvedev, Russia had failed to make significant strides at judicial reform and battling corruption.