1. The Political Affairs Committee welcomes Mr Dick
Marty's report on “Legal remedies for human rights violations in
the North-Caucasus Region” and agrees with the main conclusions
and suggestions set out in the draft resolution and recommendation
submitted by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.
2. The report rightly points out that the North-Caucasus Region
in general, and Dagestan in particular, is a remarkable and rather
exceptional example of multiculturalism, where a great many ethnic
groups, different languages and religions have long cohabited. The
challenge now facing not only local authorities but also the Russian
Federation and the Council of Europe is to re-establish confidence
and dialogue, based on respect for national identities and the promotion
of cultures and languages. That is the only way to ensure respect
for democracy, human rights and lasting peace.
3. The situation in the three republics concerned is far from
reassuring. The report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human
Rights describes the specific situation in Chechnya, the “climate
of impunity” for human rights abuses, the intimidation of civil
society, the President of Chechnya's unacceptable attitude to women
and the extreme personalisation of power. These are situations which
the Assembly firmly condemns.
4. The report points out that in Ingushetia, despite the fact
that constructive dialogue has been forged between the authorities
and civil society since the new president came to power, there has
been a worrying resurgence of violence since 2009, resulting in
some cases in assassinations and disappearances of opponents to
the government and journalists, without any prosecutions to date.
5. The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights points out
that Dagestan has also recently experienced a resurgence of acts
of terrorism, prompting responses from the security forces that, unfortunately,
are not always lawful and productive. As the report underlines,
the admirable tradition of peaceful secular cohabitation between
Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities could be jeopardised by
the rise of extremism and inappropriate responses from the authorities.
6. The Political Affairs Committee endorses the firm condemnation
of acts of terrorism, wherever and by whomever they are committed,
and the Assembly's solidarity with the friends and families of the
victims of all types of violence: terrorist attacks, attacks against
the population of the Caucasian republics and kidnappings.
7. Accordingly, the committee wishes to suggest several amendments
aimed at supporting and strengthening the general thrust of the
draft resolution presented by the Committee on Legal Affairs and