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    HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERT ON REFUGEES RETURN TO CHECHNYA

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    MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti). Ella Pamfilova, head of the presidential Commission on human rights, says more Chechen refugees are returning to their homes from Ingushetia, a neighbouring republic in the North Caucasus. "The situation has changed radically," she said at a press conference in RIA Novosti on Tuesday. "Many people are returning and many others are ready to return home."

    "We have received no complaints from those who are living in the Ingushetia tent camps about being forced out," said Pamfilova about her recent trip to the region. However, the commission members are seriously "worried by facts of indirect psychological pressure" mounted by different departments on refugees. She explained that unidentified people posing as officials frequently come to the camps, trying to force the refugees to leave.

    According to the commission chair, the ongoing payment of compensations for the lost housing and property has had a most beneficial effect on the Chechen refugees in Ingushetia. Pamfilova added that the mechanism of compensations is not perfect and the payment of compensations is not proceeding quickly enough.

    The migration service of Ingushetia reports that 3,800 Chechen refugees live in the three tent camps of the republic. In all, the republic accepted 48,500 refugees who fled Chechnya during hostilities, but most of them live in private houses.

    Pamfilova noted the positive dynamics of the regional developments. "There are some highly positive trends," she said. "Grozny is coming back to life, and this is a fact, this is reality."

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