* U.S. should pay 'adequate attention' to rights violations
* Statement follows U.S. decision on CIA prisoner handling
* Russia target of frequent criticism on rights
By Steve Gutterman
MOSCOW, July 5 (Reuters) - Russia urged the United States on
Tuesday to give more scrutiny to allegations of human rights
violations by U.S. soldiers and agents during conflicts abroad,
pointing to reported abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Foreign Ministry's human rights representative said
information from activist groups "gives reason to believe
serious violations of international rights protection norms have
occurred during U.S. military operations" in those countries.
"We call on the the American side to pay adequate attention
to this issue in the context of President (Barack) Obama's
repeated assurances of his firm intention to deal with the legal
violations committed during George W. Bush's presidency under
the pretext of the 'war on terror,'" Konstantin Dolgov said.
The Foreign Ministry presented Dolgov's statement as a
comment on the U.S. decision to conduct full criminal probes
into the CIA's handling of two prisoners who died in custody,
one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, but to close about 100 other
cases of alleged mistreatment by the CIA.
Russia has faced persistent allegations from the U.S.
government and lawmakers of rights abuses against its own people
since the 1991 Soviet collapse. In turn, Moscow has accused the
United States of double standards and said its own conduct,
particularly abroad, meant it had no right to lecture others.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on June 30 that a
prosecutor who examined possible CIA abuses in the interrogation
of 101 prisoners after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks had
determined only two deaths required further criminal
A U.S. official said one case involved a 2003 death at the
Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, while the other involved the 2002
death of an Afghan at a secret CIA prison north of Kabul.
Dolgov suggested Russia shared a prominent U.S. rights
organisation's disappointment that there would not be a broader
investigation into alleged CIA abuses.
"We hope that investigations will be conducted taking into
account the many existing signals from rights advocates
including the American Civil Liberties Union," he said.
(Editing by Peter Cooney)
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