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EU to question abuses by Russian police

BRUSSELS, May 26 (UPI) -- Charges of human rights violations by Russian police may impact Moscow's efforts to secure visa-free travel to Europe, a member of the European Commission says.

Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom of Sweden says she plans to bring up the importance of respecting fundamental rights in meetings with the Russian justice and interior ministers, the EUobserver reported Wednesday.

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One particular case Malstrom is expected to discuss involves a 36-year-old lawyer who died in Russian police custody in 2009.

Malstrom is planning to raise questions about the lack of medical care for Sergei Magnitsky and also the refusal of his family's request for an independent autopsy.

Diplomats preparing for the May 31 EU-Russia summit are wary of giving Russia a clear path to visa liberalization due to human rights problems, the EUobserver reports.

Instead, they may come up with a list of criteria that must to be met first.

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