Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Political situation in Chechnya

Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson has urged for more international action over the political situation in Chechnya, during a Westminster Hall debate on 26 January 2011.

The autonomous Russian republic has had years of political instability following attempts to break away from Russia for two decades.

Parliamentary elections in November 2005 saw the pro-Kremlin United Russia party win over half the seats. Separatist rebels dismissed the election as a charade but President Putin said that the legal process of restoring constitutional order had been completed.

In October 2010 six people were killed when a small group of militants stormed the Chechen parliament in the capital, Grozny.

Ms Swinson said there was a "culture of impunity" in the region and said she thought the situation would get worse before the international community understood the gravity of the situation.

Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne admitted there was a lack of effective investigations into human rights abuses, and that the government "shared the concerns" of MPs.

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