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14.3.2005 15:56 MSK

Rights activists demand Maskhadov's body be returned

MOSCOW. March 14 (Interfax) - Several Russian human rights activists insisted that the body of Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov, who was killed on March 8, be handed over to his relatives for subsequent burial. However, law enforcement sources say that as an international terrorist, Maskhadov will be buried in an anonymous grave. "Refusing to hand over the body to the relatives of the deceased is a shame. We support Maskhadov's relatives' claim for his body," the human rights activists said in a joint statement circulated on Monday.

The statement was signed by Lev Ponomaryov, Yuly Rybakov, Yevgeny Ikhlov from the "For Human Rights" movement, Ernst Cherny from the "Ecology And Human Rights" coalition, and Dmitry Brodsky of the "Feedback Group."