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UN Experts Condemn Terrorist Attack On Russian Concert Hall

GENEVA (25 March 2024) – UN experts* today condemned the terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow last Friday (22), which killed at least 137 people and injured 182.

“Such terrorist violence destroys human rights, including the right to life and the right to personal security and bodily and mental integrity,” the experts said.

The Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) has claimed responsibility for the attack. The group is under United Nations Security Council sanctions.

“We extend our deepest sympathies and solidarity to the victims and their families and to the people and Government of the Russian Federation,” they said, welcoming the authorities’ emergency assistance to the victims.

“We urge Russia to investigate these crimes in line with international law and prosecute the perpetrators and those who ordered them, in order to ensure justice for the victims,” the experts said.

They said all suspects are entitled to a fair trial before an independent and impartial court and to humane conditions of detention. According to the Russian authorities, as of today, 11 men were detained in connection with the attack of the concert hall, while four of them were brought before Moscow’s Basmanny District Court on charges of terrorism on Sunday evening. The Court ordered them to be held in custody until 22 May awaiting trial.

“Some of the suspects appear to have been grossly mistreated in custody. Russia must investigate all credible allegations of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment,” the experts said. “Torture compromises fair trials and thwarts justice for victims of terrorism.”

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The experts recalled that the international legal duty to protect the right to life requires Russia to investigate whether, if any credible warning was received of an imminent attack, Russian authorities took all reasonable steps to diligently prevent it.

The General Assembly has called on states to assist victims of terrorism in accordance with international law, including with regard to remembrance, dignity, respect, and truth and justice. Useful guidance is provided by the Model Legislative Provisions to Support the Needs and Protect the Rights of Victims of Terrorism and the Framework Principles for Securing the Human Rights of Victims of Terrorism.

The experts offered technical assistance to assist the victims and ensure human rights compliant investigations and prosecutions.

*The experts: Ben Saul, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism; and Mariana Katzarova, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Russian Federation

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