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OSCE: Concern over civilian situation in Chechnya

Press Release

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
High Commissioner on National Minorities
8 December 1999

Concern expressed over civilian situation in Chechnya

THE HAGUE, 8 December 1999 - The following statement regarding the civilian situation in Chechnya is issued jointly by the OSCE High Commisioner on National Minorities, Max van der Stoel; Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Walter Schwimmer, and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson.

We wish to express our profound concern for the situation of civilians in Grozny who, according to the ultimatum of 6 December 1999 from the Federal authorities of the Russian Federation, are given no other choice than to leave the city within five days or risk injury or death as the result of indiscriminate bombardment.

We wish to emphasise the obligations of the Russian Federation under international human rights and humanitarian law and we call for the strict respect of these standards. Whatever its motivation, any police or security action must conform to fundamental humanitarian principles.

Everything possible must be done to save and protect innocent lives.


OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities
Prinsessegracht 22
2514 AP - The Hague
The Netherlands
tel: +31 70/3125500

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