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Human Rights Defenders Established a Commission for Chechnya

Submitted by on Tuesday, 24 November 2009.    1,757 views No Comment
Human Rights Defenders Established a Commission for Chechnya

Activists of ten NGOs from different regions of Russia and Chechnya have announced establishment of the Public Commission on Chechnya, which will have its main tasks in defending victims of torture and inhuman treatment and bringing those guilty of rough violations of human rights or of failure to take the necessary measures to prevent such violations and punish for them to responsibility.

The Commission will hold permanent monitoring of the situation with the respect of human rights in the Chechnyya, make public the facts of human rights violations, defend and restore the rights of particular persons, who suffered from violations of human rights in Chechnya, and will also draft recommendation for the authorities of Russia on normalization of situation in Chechnya.

The Commission is established in the context of continuing stream of messages arriving from the Chechnya about rough and regular violations of the basic norms of the international humanitarian law and human rights, including the right to life, freedom and personal immunity, protection against torture and other forms of inhuman treatment; however, there is no efficient investigation of violations of human rights and norms of the humanitarian law in the country.

The human rights activists also note that they have convincing grounds to believe that the reason of kidnappings and murders of Natalya Estemirova, an employee of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) “Memorial”, and employees of the humanitarian organization “Let’s Save the Generation” Zarema Sadulayeva and Alik Dzhabrailov was in the casualties’ public and human rights activities. Therefore, the establishment of the Commission is a part of the tribute of memory paid to Natalya Estemirova, Zarema Sadulayeva, Anna Politkovskaya and other human rights defenders, journalists and civil activists, victims of armed conflicts in North Caucasus.

The statement expresses extreme concern of the initiated criminal prosecution of Oleg Orlov, head of the HRC “Memorial”, for his public critical opinion about responsibility of the pro-Moscow puppet authorities of the Chechnya in the context of Natalya Estemirova’s kidnapping and murder.

For working directly in the Chechnya, the Commission has formed a united mobile group from activists and members of human rights organizations from different regions of the Russian Federation. By replacing each other the members of the group will be permanently present in Chechnya. Most of them are professional lawyers, experienced in defending victims of rough violations of human rights and presenting interests of victims in Russian and international judicial instances.

The signatories of the statement also call the international community, structures and responsible officials of the United Nations, Council of Europe, European Union, OSCE and other intergovernmental bodies to continue paying steadfast attention to the situation in the Chechnya and taking all possible steps towards termination of rough violations of the provisions of the international humanitarian law and human rights in North Caucasus.

The statement was signed by Committee Against Torture (Nizhny Novgorod), Man and Law (Yoshkar-Ola, Chechnya), Public Verdict Fund (Moscow), Commission on Human Rights Protection under the Regional Public Organization “Memorial” (Syktyvkar, Komi), Committee 29 (Abakan), Objects (Grozny), South Siberian Human Rights Center (Novokuznetsk), Human Rights Institute (Moscow), Siberian Human Rights Center (Abakan), Youth Human Rights Movement (Irvine).

The statement is open for signature, reported by Kavkaz-Uzel.

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