World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Chechnya: U.N. Action on Chechnya Urged

U.N. Action on Chechnya Urged

Russian Investigations Not Serious, Says Rights Group

(New York, March 22, 2000) -- Russian government investigations into atrocities committed in Chechnya have shown that they are unlikely to produce any serious result, Human Rights Watch said in letters sent to several European and U.S. foreign ministers today. The letters urged ministers to initiate or sponsor a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Commission, now meeting in Geneva, condemning the abuses committed by Russian forces in Chechnya and setting in motion a "sustained and thorough" U.N. investigation.

Yesterday, the Russian military prosecutor's office said that its investigation had concluded Russian soldiers were not involved in the massacre of more than 60 civilians in the Grozny suburb of Aldi in early February. The massacre was first reported by Human Rights Watch, based on extensive and closely-corroborated testimony from witnesses and survivors of the massacre. In December, the military prosecutor also concluded that "no crime" had taken place in Alkhan-Yurt, where Human Rights Watch had found that at least fourteen civilians were summarily executed.

"The Russians have shown that there's no longer any point in waiting for their investigations," said Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch. "The only alternative now is a sustained and thorough investigation by the U.N. Member states should do everything possible to make that investigation happen."

The letter was sent to the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, urging them to initiate a resolution in Geneva.

In recent high-level meetings with the Russian military, the military procuracy, and the Presidential Representative for Human Rights in Chechnya, Human Rights Watch officials were disappointed that none of them seemed to have taken significant steps toward a full investigation. Yuri Dyomin, the military procurator of the Russian Federation, told Mr. Roth on March 10 that he had "never heard of" the massacres in the Staropromyslovskii and Aldi districts of Grozny, where Human Rights Watch found that at least 110 civilians were summarily executed.

Human Rights Watch said it welcomed the appointment of Vladimir Kalamanov as Presidential Representative for Human Rights in Chechnya, but regretted that his mandate is primarily to forward cases to a military procuracy that has shown itself to be so cynically disposed to allegations of abuse. The letter urged that the appointment of Mr. Kalamanov, even with two proposed international experts from the Council of Europe on his staff, should not be viewed as a substitute for measures that the U.N. Commission could take to hold Russia accountable for the worst abuses perpetrated in Chechnya.

"The United States and the European Union have repeatedly condemned the abuses in Chechnya," said Roth. "But no forum is more appropriate for frank talk and tough action than the U.N. Commission in Geneva. This opportunity must not be missed."

The text of the letter is available at
http://www.hrw.org/press/2000/03/chech-letter.htm

------------------------------------------------------------
For more HRW Chechnya coverage, visit http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/russia/chechnya/


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>

ALSO:

New IPCC Report: ‘Unprecedented Changes’ Needed To Limit Global Warming

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require “far-reaching and unprecedented changes,” such as ditching coal for electricity to slash carbon emissions, says a special report that finds some of the actions needed are already under way, but the world must move faster… More>>

ALSO:

Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

ALSO:

MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

ALSO:

Sulawesi Quake, Tsunami: Aid Response Begins

Oxfam and its local partners are standing by to deploy emergency staff and resources to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, as an estimated 1.5 million people are thought to be affected by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit on Friday. More>>

ALSO:

Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>

ALSO: