Chechen authorities overstepping bounds, rights panel member says

'Chechnya remains unsafe; people continue to disappear,' Svetlana Gannushkina, a member of the President's Commission on Human Rights as well as of the civil-rights defense group Memorial, said at a press conference here, Rosbalt reported. 'It would be an exaggeration to talk about order and welfare in Chechnya,' she said. 'The so-called 'Kadyrov people'-Chechnya's Ministry of Internal Affairs, which has, in fact, a far broader mandate than Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs - remain active and absolutely not under control,' she said. She said the Commission on Human Rights had been monitoring the situation of displaced persons in the tent camps and other temporary places of refuge in Ingushetia. The commission's major objectives, she said, are to prevent any forcible repatriation of refugees to Chechnya and to assure that refugees have decent living conditions in Ingushetia and, after their return, in Chechnya.

Background: Figures from Ingushetia's migration authorities indicate that 3,800 refugees from Chechnya are now living in tent camps in the republic. But figures from non-government sources indicate that more than 72,000 refugees now live in the camps.

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