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Recommendation 1733 (2006) Final version

Human rights violations in the Chechen Republic: the Committee of Ministers’ responsibility vis-à-vis the Assembly’s concerns

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin - Text adopted by the Assembly on 25 January 2006 (4th Sitting) (see Doc. 10774, report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Bindig).

1. The Parliamentary Assembly stresses that the protection of human rights is the core task of all Council of Europe bodies and recalls Resolution 1479 (2006) and its previous Recommendations 1600 (2003) and 1679 (2004) on the human rights situation in the Chechen Republic, regretting that serious human rights violations still occur on a massive scale in the Chechen Republic and, in some cases, in neighbouring regions of the Northern Caucasus.
2. It urges the Committee of Ministers to confront its responsibilities in the face of one of the most serious human rights issues in any of the Council of Europe’s member states, as the lack of effective reaction by the Council’s decision-making body has the capacity to seriously threaten the credibility of the whole Organisation.
3. The Assembly urges the Committee of Ministers to discuss ways and means to prevent new human rights violations and to overcome the climate of impunity in the Chechen Republic, and to address appropriate recommendations to the Government of the Russian Federation.
4. It commends the Committee of Ministers for its positive response to the proposal on the desirability of a Council of Europe field presence in the region. It is, however, dissatisfied with the Committee of Ministers’ failure to obtain the full investigation of the bomb explosion that effectively put to an end the continued presence of the Council of Europe in the Chechen Republic.
5. In view of the seriousness of the situation, the Assembly:
5.1. recommends relaunching the Committee of Ministers’ monitoring of the human rights situation in the Chechen Republic;
5.2. invites the Committee of Ministers again to take “specific action” by virtue of the 1994 Declaration on compliance with commitments accepted by member states of the Council of Europe, after Recommendation 1600 (2003), which was the first time that the Assembly had used this specific Committee of Ministers monitoring mechanism;
5.3. reiterates its call to the Committee of Ministers to discuss the necessary consequences of the public statements of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) on insufficient co-operation of the Russian Federation with this important body, and to urge the Russian authorities to authorise, without delay, the publication of all reports of visits to the region by the Council of Europe’s CPT;
5.4. calls on the Committee of Ministers to ensure that the Council of Europe supports the authorities in the Russian Federation in taking practical steps to address the issue of missing and disappeared persons in Chechnya, particularly through introducing effective systems for the identification and recording of bodies found, and improving the forensic facilities in Chechnya;
5.5. continues to urge the Russian authorities to implement the individual and general measures in relation to all European Court of Human Rights judgments, in particular those relating to violations committed in the course of the armed conflict in Chechnya.
6. In order to be able to take the required strong action, it invites the Committee of Ministers to make use of all the possibilities provided by the Statute of the Council of Europe to reach decisions, including votes by a two-thirds majority.