Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Council Of Europe : Report Following Visit To North Caucasus

Posted by Info on 07/09/2011

Commissioner for Human rights Thomas Hammarberg and his delegation visited the Russian Federation from 12 to 21 May 2011. In the course of the visit the Commissioner held discussions on the most serious human rights problems in the North Caucasus Federal District with representatives of the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation and with local authorities, as well as non-governmental organizations.

I. Counter-terrorism measures
The number of security incidents in Chechnya and Ingushetia has declined following a relative peak in 2009, and the frequency of such incidents in North Ossetia-Alania is comparatively low. Nevertheless, some of the incidents reported in the recent period from those republics have been of a very serious nature. Moreover, the increase of violence in Kabardino-Balkaria has led to the imposition of a counter-terrorist operation (CTO) regime in certain areas
The continuing challenges to security in the North Caucasus amount to a serious ongoing crisis with consequences which extend beyond the region. Undoubtedly, such a crisis constitutes a test of the strength of State commitment to human rights principles….

II. Abductions, disappearances, and ill-treatment

The Commissioner is deeply concerned by the persistence of allegations and other information relating to abductions, disappearances and ill-treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the North Caucasus. While the number of abductions and disappearances reported in Chechnya may have decreased in the more recent period as compared to 2009, the situation remains far from normal….

III. Combating impunity
The lack of effective investigations into human rights violations where law enforcement or other security officials are implicated has been raised repeatedly by the current Commissioner and his predecessor. The European Court of Human Rights has by now examined nearly 200 cases in which it found violations of Article 2 (right to life) and/or Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) in relation to actions of security forces in the Chechen Republic and other parts of the North Caucasus Federal District. The violations have related to unlawful killings, disappearances, and torture and ill-treatment attributable to the security forces, as well as a failure to investigate such crimes effectively. The persistent patterns of impunity for such serious violations are among the most intractable human rights problems of the North Caucasus and remain a source of major concern to the Commissioner….more click HERE


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