MOSCOW, May 21 (UPI) -- A survey of Russians published Friday says 25 percent of them have been victims of police abuse, the Moscow Times reported.
More than 80 percent of respondents said policemen are corrupt, but still two-thirds said they would turn to the police if they were in trouble.
Conducted by Yury Levada's Analytical Center, the poll questioned 2,013 residents in 12 of Russia's biggest cities. The margin of error was 2.5 percentage points.
The abuses included violence, rudeness, bribe demands and refusals to respond to complaints.
The study was commissioned by the Public Verdict Foundation, an organization to assist those victimized by the police. It plans to develop a nationwide network to conduct public awareness campaigns and, when needed, hire lawyers or pay for the independent assessment of evidence.
"It's next to impossible to win a case against a policeman. We're happy that this foundation has emerged to help us win such cases," said Lyudmila Alexeyeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, one of the human rights organizations that formed the foundation.