Ukraine Urged to End Police Abuse

KIEV, Ukraine -- Amnesty International is urging the Ukrainian authorities to end beatings, abuse and extortion of detainees by police.

The rights group said in a report released Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are mistreated by police while in custody. Amnesty exhorted the government to set up an independent agency to investigate such crimes.

The abuse is rooted in the Soviet legacy of law enforcement officers' power over ordinary citizens and a legal system that builds criminal cases on confessions instead of looking for other evidence.

Ukrainian Interior Ministry spokeswoman Viktoria Kushnir said the government would study the Amnesty report, but declined further comment.