OSCE countries to review human rights situation in Russia

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States and 37 other countries are establishing an expert mission to review the human rights situation in Russia, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Thursday.

The review, triggered by the invocation of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's "Moscow Mechanism," is in response to recent actions by Russia to restrict freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and reports of torture of those held in detention in Russia, Price said in a statement.

The expert mission will release its report to the public in September, he said.

The OSCE is an organization of 57 countries that includes former Cold War foes the United States and Russia as well as various countries in Europe, Central Asia and North America.

This is the third time the Moscow Mechanism has been invoked since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

In April, an OSCE mission said it had found evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russia in Ukraine. Russia's mission to the OSCE called the report "unfounded propaganda."

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Sandra Maler)