Hammarberg: Abduction of Civilians Still Continue
The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg recently visited the republic in the North Caucasus. After his trip he gave a special interview to BBC’s Russian service.
“What did you feel when you were in Chechnya? The [pro-Russia] authorities say that Ramzan Kadyrov flourishes the republic and people are happy,” asked the correspondent from BBC Russia.
“Some of the problems are really left over from the past, but the problems have not been yet resolved. In many cases, the crimes which are committed by the [pro-Russian] police and army are not disclosed. Every time I go back there, I meet with the mothers, sisters and brothers of missing people. They come with portraits of their loved ones and ask me to help them. Many of them reach the court in Strasbourg and they have already received more than 150 decisions in such cases, but the problem is that there are more ‘fresh’ cases since 2008. The numbers of kidnappings declined of course, but it is still happening and these crimes which are allegedly related to the [pro-Russian] law enforcement, are not investigated. For example, the murder of human rights activist Natalya Estemirova. It has not yet been investigated, even though it was told to us that the investigation is in progress,” said Hammarberg.
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco