[Documents/Docheader.htm]

The humanitarian situation of the Chechen displaced population

Doc. 10282
20 September 2004

Report
Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population
Rapporteur: Mr Tadeusz Iwinski, Poland, Socialist Group


Summary

The aim of this report, based on the findings of the visit to the North Caucasus as well as on the information provided by the international and local organisations involved in the humanitarian action in the region, is to examine the situation of Chechen internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees in Chechnya, in other parts of the Russian Federation and in other countries.

According to the Rapporteur, the security and humanitarian situation in the ChechenRepublic remains unsatisfactory. On the other hand, the situation of the Chechen displaced persons in Ingushetia has slightly improved. The Rapporteur welcomes the efforts of the Ingush authorities aimed at the normalisation of living conditions of the displaced population.

The Rapporteur raises the question of insufficient legislative mechanisms and related assistance which would facilitate the settlement of Chechen IDPs in other parts of the Russian Federation. Moreover, the vestiges of propiska (residence permit) seriously hamper the principles of freedom of movement and liberty to choose one’s place of residence within the country.

I.          Draft resolution [Link to the adopted text]

1.         The Assembly refers to its Resolution … (2004) and Recommendation … (2004) on the political situation in the ChechenRepublic: measure to increase democratic stability in accordance with Council of Europe standards and to its Resolution … (2004) and Recommendation … (2004) on the human rights situation in the ChechenRepublic.

2.         The Assembly stresses the importance of humanitarian aspects of the conflict in Chechnya which should be dealt with irrespective of political considerations. In particular, the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) remains very precarious. As a result of the conflict, there are still between 30 000 and 50 000 displaced persons from Chechnya in Ingushetia and some thousands of such people in other parts of the Russian Federation. The majority of those who have returned to Chechnya have been unable to come back to their homes. 

3.         The Assembly is concerned by the information of many non-governmental organisations that, despite its recommendations, undue pressure has been often used by the authorities in order to encourage the Chechen internally displaced persons staying in Ingushetia to return to Chechnya even if the security and humanitarian situation in the Republic remains extremely complicated.

4.         The Assembly notes that all of the refugee camps located in Ingushetia with unsatisfactory and sometimes dramatic conditions are closed.

5.         The humanitarian situation of internally displaced persons in Ingushetia is particularly worrying after the terrorist incursion of 21/22 June 2004 and the Assembly calls on the Russian authorities to ensure that the internally displaced person are not unduly persecuted and intimidated by the security forces.

6.         The Assembly welcomes the efforts of the Ingush authorities aimed at the normalisation of the conditions of refugees, in particular with regard to construction of special cottage settlements (villages) intended for the Chechens.

7.         The Assembly notes with concern that the vestiges of propiska (residence permit) seriously hamper the principles of freedom of movement and liberty to choose one’s place of residence within the country.

8.         Regrettably, the security and humanitarian situation in the ChechenRepublic remains unsatisfactory. Many of those who return live in precarious conditions and the infrastructure, including health and education services, remains inadequate despite certain progress. Access to humanitarian assistance is hampered by security constraints and some bureaucratic obstacles. However, the development of the process of paying compensation to the families who lost their houses and property should be noted.

9.         The Assembly recognizes the efforts undertaken by the Russian authorities in order to advance the reconstruction of the destroyed Republic. However, according to numerous allegations, there is a continuous problem of accountability and control over spendings.

10.        The Assembly urges the Russian authorities to:

i.          refrain from any kind of pressure on the Chechen internally displaced population in order to make them return to the ChechenRepublic;

ii.          maintain humanitarian assistance to the Chechen IDPs outside Chechnya, in particular in Ingushetia;

iii.         ensure that so-called special operations, including interrogations and searches of individual houses carried out by police and military agencies following the terrorist incursion of 21/22 June 2004, are conducted in a correct manner;

iv.         review the legislation concerning status and social benefits provided to internally displaced persons;

v.          implement in a more effective way the mechanism for compensation for lost housing and property;

vi.         increase the efforts aimed at the improvement of security in the region, while at the same time ensure accountability of the federal armed forces, and the protection of human rights;

vii.        increase the reconstruction effort and the humanitarian assistance and to subject it to more effective and transparent accountability and control;

viii.        remove still existing bureaucratic obstacles and simplify regulations concerning access and actions of the humanitarian agencies in the Chechen Republic and in Ingushetia, in particular to reconsider restrictive measures in issuance to NGOs of permits for carrying-out and monitoring relief projects, clearance and procedures at check-points, as well as authorization to use radio frequencies for communications;

ix.         improve the conditions of living in so-called temporary accommodation centres (TACs);

x.         consider joining the Council of Europe Development Bank with a view to benefiting from the financial opportunities offered by it for the reconstruction of Chechnya.

11.        The Assembly calls on Council of Europe Member States to:

i.          maintain assistance to IDPs in Chechnya and Ingushetia;

ii.          step up financial contribution for reconstruction of Chechnya;

iii.         promote the development of the civil society in Chechnya;

iv.         ensure fair status determination procedure for every asylum seeker from Chechnya.

12.        Furthermore, the Assembly calls on:

i.          the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights to continue monitoring the human rights situation of Chechen IDPs in the Russian Federation;

ii.          the Council of Europe Development Bank to examine ways in which it could contribute to a long-term reconstruction plan for Chechnya;

iii.         the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe to examine the possibilities of supporting Chechen refugees and displaced persons through partnership between European towns and the North Caucasus municipalities particularly with those hosting IDPs.

13.        The Assembly endorses the efforts by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population and the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to use their good offices to expedite the convening of a consultative conference with the participation of non-governmental organisations, international humanitarian organisations and relevant governmental, intergovernmental authorities to review how all necessary resources for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Chechen Republic can best be mobilised and effectively used.

14.        The Assembly reiterates its support for the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross in favour of those persons deprived of their freedom linked to the situation in North Caucasus.

II.         Explanatory memorandum by Mr Iwinski

1.         Introduction

1.         The primary aim of this report is to examine the humanitarian situation of Chechen refugees and displaced persons within and outside the ChechenRepublic, to assess to what extent previous recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly in the area of humanitarian assistance have been fulfilled, and to formulate, in the light of the updated information, new recommendations.

2.         The Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population has been following the humanitarian situation in the region since 1997. During this time, your Rapporteur has carried out 7 fact-finding missions to Chechnya and Ingushetia. The last report on the subject was presented by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population to the Parliamentary Assembly in January 2001. On that occasion Recommendation 1499 (2001) was adopted. Since then, the Committee has presented several opinions, the last one in January 2003[1]. In April 2004, the Assembly adopted the complex report by this Rapporteur on “Situation of refugees and displaced persons in the Russian Federation and some other CIS countries”.

3.         The present report is based on several sources of information: firstly, the Rapporteur used the conclusions of his visit to Moscow, Chechnya, Ingushetia and North Ossetia which he carried out together with Mr Andreas Gross, Rapporteur of the Political Affairs Committee on 26-31 August 2004 (see Programme for the visit in the appendix); secondly, the report takes into account updated information received from international and local governmental and non-governmental organisations.

4.         The Rapporteur has concentrated, in accordance with his mandate, on strictly humanitarian questions leaving political and legal aspects (including the human rights situation) to the relevant Committees which present their reports to the Assembly during the same debate[2]. He is convinced that some humanitarian questions can and must be solved irrespectively of political considerations.

5.         Finally, the Rapporteur would like to express his gratitude to the Russian authorities for the organisation of the fact-finding visit to the region.

2.         Chechen IDPs and refugees outside Chechnya

6.         Over 350 000 persons have been forced to flee from Chechnya since the beginning of the second war in 1999. Most of them have found refuge in neighbouring Ingushetia, considerably lower number of persons headed for another neighbouring republic, Dagestan. A certain number has spread around other regions of the Russian Federation. More than 10 000 people seeking protection went to Central Asia, mainly Kazakhstan. There is also an unknown number of Chechen refugees and asylum seekers in other parts of the former Soviet Union, in Central Europe, in particular Poland and the CzechRepublic and in Western Europe.

7.         Most persons of the above mentioned figure of 350 000 have already returned to Chechnya, but the majority of the returnees have become internally displaced persons within the Chechen republic.

2.1.       Ingushetia

8.         In the peak period of late 1999 – early 2000, there were 240 000 IDPs from Chechnya in Ingushetia which has its own local population of 360 000 inhabitants and is one of the poorest republics in the Russian Federation with inadequate infrastructure to host such an influx of people.

9.         Following the May 2002 Action Plan for Return, concluded between Ingushetia and Chechnya, the authorities, despite numerous international calls including those of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, have been continuing to put undue pressure on displaced persons by using a combination of threats and incentives to encourage them to return to Chechnya.

10.        Still in January 2003, there were 102 833 internally displaced persons from Chechnya in Ingushetia, including 19 374 people living in six refugee camps. The refugee camps have been systematically closed down despite continuous protests from international and local humanitarian organisations arguing that the security and living conditions in Chechnya do not allow for mass returns. The inhabitants of closed camps have been given no alternative accommodation outside Chechnya, so the majority of them have felt compelled to return.

11.        The last refugee camp in Ingushetia - Satsita - was closed on 10 June 2004. It was accommodating around 4 000 a few months earlier. Despite some controversies, Assembly should accept this decision because in the past many people lived in tents or even in wagons.

12.        Just before the armed incursion of 21/22 June 2004 in Ingushetia, there were still around 50 000 Chechens living in spontaneous settlements or with host families, most of them in difficult living conditions. They were also submitted to a strong pressure to return, particularly from the Chechen Committee on the Return of Refugees which is a structure within the Chechen Migration Service and whose representatives are present in Ingushetia. However the Chechen IDPs who decided to remain in Ingushetia (many of them o f Ingush origin) are living in undoubtedly better conditions than almost forgotten Ingush refugees from North Ossetia (19.000) deported from this republic in 1992 (e.g. in Berkat). One has to underline with satisfaction that in the last period the Ingush authorities took serious steps aimed at normalisation of the conditions of Chechens’ life in particular with regard to construction of special cottage settlements (e.g. in Barsuki) intended for them.

13.        According to numerous reports, pressure has got different forms. For example, the refugees are promised indebted humanitarian aid on the day of their return, priority treatment in receiving compensations for lost housing and lost property, and in some case also jobs and houses. On the other hand daily checks lead to numerous cases of random exclusion of individual refugees and entire families from humanitarian aid distribution lists. These practices are strongly criticized by humanitarian organisations present in the region.

14.        Deliveries of gas have been suspended in several temporary accommodations throughout Ingushetia. (Denal temporary center in Nazran, the Urs unofficial camp in Nazran and also in the villages of Altiyevo, Yandar and Nesterovskaya).

15.        Special operations and clean-ups conducted from time to time by law enforcement and security agencies in compact refugee communities play not the least role in accelerating process of refugees' return to Chechnya.

16.        After camps, now different refugee points are shut down. For example, the temporary accommodation point for refugees from Chechnya quartered on the premises of a dairy farm in the Altievo municipal district of Nazran where more than 1000 had lived, has been shut down recently. The compact refugee community on a dairy farm in Nasyr-Kort is next in line to be eliminated.

17.        Despite promises made on different occasions, the Russian authorities have in many cases failed to provide inhabitants of closed camps with alternative accommodation outside Chechnya.

18.        The situation of refugees after the armed terrorist incursion of 21/22 June 2004 has worsened. Police and military agencies have been carrying out the series of so-called special operations which include interrogations and searches of individual houses. Particularly many of the temporary settlements for Chechen IDPs were targeted. While most of the operations were conducted in a more or less correct manner some were marred by irregularities, obviously intended to intimidate refugees in order to pressure them to return to Chechnya. In particular, reportedly the operation in Altievo on 23 June 2004 was conducted as a mop-up operation involving numerous severe human rights violations.

19.        Also among the local population one can observe a significant outbreak of anti-refugee and anti-Chechen sentiments. Furthermore, the human rights violations that have long been the hallmark of the Chechnya conflict are increasingly spilling over into Ingushetia. Reports of "disappearances" and attacks against civilians resulting in deaths and serious injuries are more and more numerous. Security situation as described by the recently published reports of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) is characterised by severe human rights violations including enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings and unlawful detentions attributed to the Russian and Chechen security forces. In none of the cases described in the report were the perpetrators brought to justice so far.

20.        Approximately 2 500 of 50 000 IDPs who were still present in Ingushetia left for Chechnya in the three weeks after the armed raid. At present, 100 – 150 people on average leave Ingushetia for Chechnya every day. Most of the returnees are former dwellers of compact refugee communities in the republic. According to the data received by Rapporteur from Russian officials during his last visit, in Ingushetia in August 2004 lived 31.600 people from Chechnya (13.500 in 131 settlements and 18.100 in private sector). However, according to the Danish Refugees Council – for years active in this republic, there are 49.500 Chechen IDPs.

2.2.       Other parts of the Russian Federation

21.        Although there is no reference, under Russian legal terminology, to the term "internally displaced person", however, the 1995 Federal Law "on forced migrants" envisions a similar status for forcibly displaced persons under the condition that they have Russian citizenship[3]. The status of forced migrants is primarily meant to facilitate the integration of displaced persons in their new place of residence, through the allocation of special allowances, assistance with housing, job placement, loans and related support[4].

22.        According to Government statistics, between 30 September 1999 and 31 September 2002 some 13 232 from Chechnya persons were granted forced migrant status. While official statistics do not provide a breakdown by ethnicity, most of them, according to information available to UNHCR, are ethnic Russians [5] Only 89 IDPs from Chechnya were granted forced migrant status in Ingushetia. According to information available to UNHCR from local NGOs and implementing partners, most of the forced migrant status applications based on allegations of mistreatment by federal forces, lost property or a mass violation of public order were rejected by the competent migration authorities on the grounds that the on-going "anti-terrorist operation" does not constitute a mass violation of a public order. For comparison, during 1994-96 conflict, some 240 000 persons mainly of Russian nationality were granted status. In conclusion, it can be said that legislative mechanisms and related assistance that would facilitate the settlements of Chechen IDPs outside Chechnya and Ingushetia are not available. In many regions, the Chechen IDPs have no possibility to sojourn legally (see below).

23.        The Federal Government has announced its intention to establish a system of financial compensation for the victims of the current conflict who left Chechnya permanently which would be independent from the granting of forced migrant status.

24.        The freedom of movement hampered by the vestiges of propiska, which, although outlawed by the federal Constitution, is still in force in some regions, affects particularly the Chechen displaced population as it imposes severe restrictions on their possibilities to reside legally (ie with propiska, residency registration) outside Chechnya and Ingushetia[6].

25.        UNHCR acknowledges that "a very strong anti-Chechen feeling has developed in many parts of the Russian Federation"[7].

26.        The number of persons of Chechen nationality who stay in other parts of the Russian Federation is difficult to assess. The majority has sought refuge in the neighbouring regions causing concern to local authorities who fear that the presence of Chechens puts at risk the ethnic balance in their districts.

27.        Dagestan is currently hosting approximately 5 000 Chechen internally displaced persons (10 000 in 2001). Since the beginning of the conflict, Chechen fighters have used the mountainous areas of Dagestan as base camps and for that reason Dagestan has always been reluctant to receive Chechen internally displaced persons which has often resulted in non-respect of federal legislation on forced migrants and freedom of movement. The same allegation applies to the republics of Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia.

28.        Both Stavropol and Krasnodar regions which are close to the ChechenRepublic have been sanctioned several times by the Russian Federation Constitutional Court, as well as cited by the Ombudsman of the Russian Federation, for violating constitutional and federal legislative provisions related to freedom of movement and freedom to choose a place of sojourn or residence. Very few Chechens stay in these regions, also due to the hostility of the local population and of the ethnic Russians who have fled Chechnya in 1994-96 and settled here.

29.        North Ossetia-Alania hosts approximately 4 000 Chechen IDPs. They were more numerous two years ago, but the majority has returned home. Local authorities fear that the presence of Chechen puts at risk the ethnic balance in the district.

30.        According to the Russian authorities, there are several hundred thousand ethnic Chechens in Moscow area. Most of them are not IDPs. Those displaced during the recent conflict who have come to Moscow have encountered serious problems regarding their legal status, and residence. Restrictive measures have been introduced by the Moscow City Government following the outbreak of the conflict. In practice it is impossible for the IDPs from Chechnya to register in Moscow. In the absence of temporary registration, IDPs in Moscow have not been able to exercise their basic social and civil rights, such as access to legal employment, medical care and education. Moreover, sometimes they face vigorous and repeated security checks, eviction from their apartments and harassment by other groups of local population.

31.        According to information available from local human rights group, the situation in Russia's second largest town, St. Petersburg is similar concerning restrictive practices in issuing sojourn registration to Chechen IDPs.

32.        The situation of Chechen IDPs in the rest of the Russian Federation is not well documented, however it is certain that there are no large communities.

2.3.       Outside the Russian Federation

33.        According to UNHCR statistics, some 57 153 Russian citizens sought asylum in 29 of the most industrialized countries of the world from 2000 to 2002. In 2003, the respective figure was 33 400. This represents an increase of 68%, and for Europe alone an increase of 73% over one year. The number of asylum seekers of Chechen nationality is not indicated but certainly they made up for majority of this figure.

34.        Approximately 4 000 Chechen refugees have been registered and granted protection in Georgia, 6 000 in Azerbaijan. Over 200 Chechens in Ukraine and 2000 in Poland.

35.        UNHCR recommends that all asylum seekers from Chechnya be given access to individual refugee status determination procedures. When determining the need for international protection as well as the availability of internal relocation possibilities for Chechen asylum seekers, an essential distinction needs to be made between ethnic Chechens displaced from Chechnya proper and ethnic Chechen permanent residents of other regions of the Russian Federation.

36.        In certain countries (for example in Norway), the asylum seekers from Chechnya are requested to contact the Russian consulate in order to get the Russian passport before being admitted to the status determination procedure.

3.         Chechen displaced population within the Republic

37.        Most IDPs who return to Chechnya find shelter in so-called temporary accommodation centers (TACs). According to brand new Russian data, in August 2004, 33 TACs have been established and put into use in Grozny and throughout the republic hosting over 20 000 persons.

38.        According to international and local organisations including UNHCR, the HRW and Memorial, the living conditions in most TACs do not meet basic standards. Sanitation is often below acceptable standards with latrines located outside buildings, in insufficient numbers and rooms are overcrowded, there is no running water or functioning sewage system, and humanitarian food supplies are said to be irregular and insufficient.

39.        Approximately 40% of IDPs families in TACs are from apartments in destroyed buildings which are unlikely to be repaired in the near future. The others are awaiting construction materials to repair their damaged individual houses.

40.        However, your Rapporteur during his visit to Chechnya on 28-31 August 2004 felt that in general the living standards of returnees had improved in comparison to previous visits and in many cases they were better of those who decided to remain in Ingushetia.

41.        The Russian Federation Ministry for Reconstruction in the ChechenRepublic has established a mechanism for the provision of construction as a part of a compensation for a lost property. Several hundreds families were assisted under this scheme in 2002 and in 2003. According to the federal authorities, part of the difficulty in disbursing all the funds allocated to this programme under the federal budget resides with strict financial control procedures for the channelling of funds and their disbursement by the recipient republic.

42.        As from October 2004, a mortage scheme will be implemented so that people can finance the reconstruction of their houses. In co-operation with private investors, both national and international, it is hoped that in the next year a total of 180 000 square meters of housing will be constructed in Grozny alone. Over five years this number should be 2 000 000 square meters in the whole republic.

43.        On the other hand, according to numerous allegations, there is a continuous problem of accountability and efficient control over spending within the budget devoted both to reconstruction and humanitarian aid. The most serious allegations relate to the compensation for lost property for those who return to Chechnya. They are entitled to 300 000 roubles for lost housing and 50 000 roubles for lost property. Allegedly the submitted applications are not processed at all without a bribe. However, according to the information gathered by the Rapporteur during the visit, since June 2004 up to September, as many as 11 000 families have already been compensated. This number should increase to 40 000 families before the end of this year.

44.        Access to humanitarian agencies and humanitarian agencies' access to the population inside Chechnya has been hampered by security constraints, restrictive issuance to NGOs of permits for carrying-out and monitoring relief projects, clearance and procedures at check-points as well as by the lack of authorisation to use radio frequencies for communications. Furthermore, security for aid workers has deteriorated and there are reported cases of kidnapping and harassment.

45.        The Rapporteur notes with satisfaction that the payments of pensions and contributions by the Federal Government seem to be efficient. Many IDPs confirmed that they received their pensions each month as well as 15 rouble aid (in alimentary products) that every IDP is entitled to.

4.         Prospects for return

46.        In the light of the above information, the figures on returns of refugees advanced by the Russian authorities in order to illustrate the normalization of the situation in Chechnya should be viewed with utmost caution. According to official Russian statistics, in 2003, as many as 19 666 IDPs returned to Chechnya from Ingushetia. Since the beginning of 2004 until 31 May 2004, the respective figure amounts to 11 255 persons. This process of return has been considerably sped up after the tragic events of 21/22 June 2004.

47.        However, the return to the republic does not solve the problem of internal displacement of the Chechen population. Furthermore, those who have returned live in very precarious conditions, and the infrastructure including access to health or education services is inadequate.

48.        The security situation as described in the reports presented the Political Affairs Committee and the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights needs to be considerably improved so that the returnees could no fear for their safety. The extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detention including in unofficial places of detention, torture and mistreatment as well as the lack of accountability of the federal armed forces or efficient investigations into the cases of human rights violations constitute major obstacle to the process of return.

49.        Having said that, the Rapporteur recognizes the efforts undertaken by the Russian authorities in order to advance the reconstruction of the destroyed republic. In particular, the new Plan for Reconstruction of Chechnya may give rise for some optimism. However, as already mentioned above, according to numerous allegations, there is a continuous problem of accountability and efficient control over spending.

50.        It is clear that the humanitarian situation both in Chechnya and in the neighbouring republics, in particular Ingushetia will remain precarious still for a long time. IDPs will rely on outside support and therefore it is vital the international community should contribute to the relief aid. However, the main responsibility lies on the Russian authorities which should comply with the Parliamentary Assembly's recommendations concerning human rights protection and increase their efforts in the field of reconstruction.

5.         Conclusions

51.        The ongoing fighting in Chechnya, the tragic events of 21/22 June 2004 and numerous terrorist attacks give proof that there is still no end in sight to the bloodshed in the republic. The political process fails to achieve a peaceful solution. And before this solution has been put in place, no mass return of refugees can be imposed, and all those Chechens who seek refuge be in other parts of the Russian Federation, be outside it, should benefit from it.

52.        As a consequence, the level of humanitarian assistance both provided by the authorities, and by the international community should be maintained and all necessary measures should be taken in order to enable effective humanitarian aid to the Chechen population outside and outside the republic.

53.        All applications for asylum submitted by the Chechens in Council of Europe member states should be treated in accordance with the guidance and recommendations of the UNHCR.

54.        To this end, the Rapporteur proposes a number of recommendations.

APPENDIX

Programme of the visit of the Council of Europe's delegation to the Russian Federation

(27-31 August 2004)

27 August Friday

Arrival of the delegation to Moscow

17.00                Meeting with NN, Deputy Minister of the Interior

18.00                Meeting with Mr.V.Yakovlev, Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation to the Southern Federal District

28 August, Saturday

10.30               Departure to Mineralnye Vody

12.30                Arrival to Mineralnye Vody

13.30                Departure to Grozny by helicopter

15.30                Visit of the Temporary Residence Facility (TRF) in Argun

17.00                Meeting with Mr. S. Abramov, Prime Minister and acting President of the ChechenRepublic and members of the Chechen Government

20.30                Dinner with Commander of the Federal Forces of the Ministry of Interior in Northern Caucasus

29 August, Sunday

11.30                Visit of a TRF in Grozny

12.15                Visit of polling station in Grozny

12.45                Visit of second polling station and District Election Commission in Grozny

13.30                Lunch with the acting Chechen President and the Chechen Minister of Finance

15.00                Meeting with the presidential candidate Mr Asakov

15.15                Departure to Tsenteroi by helicopter

16.30                Meeting with Mr. R. Kadyrov and Mr S. Abramov

30 August, Monday

11.15                Visit of the TRF in Grozny

12.30                Press conference of the CEC of the ChechenRepublic 

14.00                Meeting with S. Abramov and President Elect A. Alkhanov

16.30                Departure to Nazran (Ingushetia) by helicopter

17.45                Meeting with President of the Ingush Republic M. Zyazikov and members of the Ingush government,

21.45                Meeting with representatives of Memorial in Nazran

31 August, Tuesday

9.45                  Visit of the IDP settlement Berkat accomodating North Ossetian IDPs

10.30                Visit of the IDPs settlement Amina accomodating Chechen IDPs

11.45               Departure with M. Zyazikov to mountain village of Dzheyrach

17.30                Departure to Moscow

19.45                Arrival in Moscow

1 September, Wednesday

10.15                Interfax press-conference with T. Iwinski and J.C. Frecon

                        Departure of the delegation from Moscow


Reporting Committee: Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population.

Reference to committee: Doc. 10096, Reference No. 2940 of 2 March 2004.

Draft resolution unanimously adopted by the Committee on 13 September 2004.

Members of the Committee: Wilkinson (Chairperson), de Zulueta (1st Vice-Chairperson), Sřndergaard (2nd Vice-Chairperson), Branger (3rd Vice-Chairperson), Agramunt Font de Mora, Akgün, Alibeyli (alternate: Aliyev), Bernik, Bilalov (alternate: Provkin), Bilozir, Bousakla, Brajovic, Braun, Brinkel (alternate: van Thijn), Brunhart, Cabrnoch, Çavusoglu, Christodoulides, Cilevics, Cliveti, Cortajarena Iturrioz (alternate: Fernández-Aguilar), Danieli, Debarge (alternate: Salles), Debono Grech, Dedja, Dendias, Dmitrijevas, Einarsson, Err, Fedorov (alternate: Slutsky), Filipiová, Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg, Grissemann, Grzesik (alternate: Gadzinowski), Grzyb, Gülçiçek, Hagberg, Hancock, Higgins, Hoffmann, Ilascu, Iwinski, Lord Judd, Karpov, Katseli, Kirilov, Kósá-Kovács, Kvakkestad, Lambert, Le Guen, Loutfi, Masi, Naro, Nasufi, Nessa, Olin, G. Popa, V. Popa, Puche y Rodriguez-Acosta, Pupovac, Raguž, Rakhansky, Reymann, Ružic, Saks, Shakhtakhtinskaya, Skarphédinsson, Stamm (alternate: Zapfl-Helbling), Stoisits, Stübgen, Szabó (alternate: Platvoet), Tekelioglu, Tevdoradze, Tkác, Torosyan, Vera Jardim, Vermot-Mangold, Vieira, Wray (alternate: Etherington), Zavgayev, Zhirinovsky (alternate: Oskina).

N.B. The names of those members present at the meeting are printed in bold.

Secretariat of the committee: Mr Lervik, Mrs Nachilo, Mrs Kostenko, Mrs Sirtori-Milner.


[1] See Doc. 9689.

[2] See Doc. 10276 and Doc. 10283.

[3] For more details see Doc 10118 on the situation of refugees and displaced persons in the Russian Federation and some other CIS countries.

[4] The Law stipulates that "shall be recognised as a forced migrant (…) a citizen of the Russian Federation who was forced to leave the place of his/fer permanent residence on the territory of a subject of the Russian federation and came to the territory of another subject of the Russian Federation." This means that persons who are displaced within Chechnya (approx. 160 000) cannot qualify for forced migrant status.

[5] See UNHCR Paper on Asylum Seekers from the Russian Federation in the context of the Situation in Chechnya – February 2003.

[6] For more details see report on The propiska system applied to migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees in Council of Europe member states: effects and remedies (Doc 9262).

[7] UNHCR Paper on Asylum seekers from the Russian Federation in the context of the situation in Chechnya, February 2003.