Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

North Caucasus: new depths of lawlessness and chaos – demands new strategy!

Posted by Info on 18/08/2009

by Sarah Mendelson: Western policymakers have no practical solutions and no sense of how to engage the Russian authorities about the situation in the North Caucasus.

Still and clearly, the burden to end impunity in this region needs to shift away from the activists, lawyers, and journalists who gather each victim’s story in painstaking detail, and away from overworked and underfunded organizations like Memorial, Human Rights Watch, the Danish Refugee Council, and Caucasian Knot. They have already provided a plethora of information on the abuses. Tens of thousands of cases have reached the European Court of Human Rights. Several Russian lawyers recently published a 1,200 page book making the case for an international tribunal for crimes committed in Chechnya.

The situation where activist after activist essentially walks into a hail of bullets demands a new strategy. The burden ought to shift to policymakers and diplomats, to the Obama administration and European governments. It ought to shift to Germany, which has a special relationship with Russia, to Sweden, which holds the current EU presidency, and, most of all, to the Kremlin.

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