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CHECHNYA LINKS LIBRARY

January 24th 2002 · PACE · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS

The Verbatim Report of PACE's Debate on Chechnya on January 23 (part 2)

Conflict in the Chechen Republic (resumed debate)

THE PRESIDENT. – We now resume our consideration of the report from the Political Affairs Committee on the conflict in the Chechen Republic. I ask representatives of the committee to take their places.

I thank the rapporteurs, the committee and all of you for your understanding and patience over interrupting the debate.

We begin with the replies to this morning’s debate.

I call Lord Judd, rapporteur, to reply. You have four minutes, which may be shared with the rapporteurs of the committees for opinion.

Lord JUDD (United Kingdom). – This is my first opportunity to congratulate you on your election, Mr President, and to say how good it is to work under your chairmanship.

I hope that my Russian friends – and they are good friends – heard the message of the debate. It was clear from the debate that all is still not well in Russia. There is a long way to go and a great deal of room for anxiety. However, it was also clear that the Assembly wants to work with its Russian friends and those who share our conviction in trying to build for the future, and that there are some opportunities to do so. Although we cannot be over-enthusiastic about those opportunities, they do exist and we must work on them.

I should like to pick up on two speeches and to deal with some of the points raised. Mr van der Linden asked about the role of the joint working group. Yes, we are forming friendships; yes, the language is changing; yes, one notices the development of a new dynamic in the joint working group. I believe that that has only come about because of the candour with which we conduct our negotiations. We do not need to be friends. We need to speak honestly. From such honest speaking, some friendship and a dynamic for progress are developing. It is not just a matter of the Council of Europe putting on pressure. What is much more important is that we are encouraging the development of such pressure in the Russian political system – with us in support, rather than the process entirely depending on us.

My good friend Ms Zwerver, who I am afraid is not in the Chamber at the moment, raised a number of interesting points. I just hope that she listened to the speech of Mr Shishlov. He is an example of the courage, imagination and leadership in Russian society which has led to the changes. Yes, we do work with Memorial. I have repeatedly said that I have the highest regard for Memorial.

My last point is that scepticism is necessary. It is, after all, a form of pressure. We do not want to run around in a great fan club when there is no reason yet for such a fan club. Healthy scepticism is important. To those who are sceptical, however, please look at the evidence for change. Look at what Mr Kalamanov’s office has done. Under his leadership, there are the beginnings of a council for the protection of human rights in Chechnya itself. We shall have to see what happens. We shall have to work hard on that but something is in place. As a result of the talks initiated by the joint working group, there are now deliberations on how we can provide a council to develop political dialogue about the situation and about what might happen in direct negotiations in that wider political situation.

There are many steps of that kind but much remains to be done, not least in the sphere of the prosecutor general’s office where I remain most dissatisfied with the progress thus far. I think that Rudolf Bindig has been most helpful, with all his specialist expertise – as have the people working with him – in their analysis demonstrating the seriousness of the situation.

THE PRESIDENT. – Thank you.

Unfortunately only nine seconds remain so it will not be possible to call Mr Bindig or Mr Iwiński. Does the Vice-Chairperson of the Political Affairs Committee, Ms Ferić-Vac, wish to speak? You have two minutes.

Ms FERIĆ-VAC (Croatia). – The Political Affairs Committee has been dealing with this matter for a long time. We support the process for finding a solution. There are still several spheres in which there should be further improvement, as Lord Judd pointed out. Unfortunately we have not yet found a complete solution but we are on the way to finding one that complies with the conditions and values of the Council of Europe.

THE PRESIDENT. – Thank you.

The debate is closed.

The Political Affairs Committee has presented a draft resolution, to which twenty-six amendments have been tabled, and a draft recommendation, to which eight amendments and one sub-amendment have been tabled.

We will consider first the amendments to the draft resolution. They will be taken in the order in which they appear in the notice paper. Members are asked to note that if Amendment No. 29 is agreed to, Amendments Nos. 12 and 13 fall.

I remind you that speeches on amendments are limited to one minute.

We come to Amendment No. 2, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 6, after the words “the appropriate Russian”, add the words: “and Chechen”.

I call Mr Bindig to support Amendment No. 2 on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the amendment placed responsibilities on both the Russian Federation and the Chechen authorities.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?…

That is not the case.

I understand the committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 2 is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 19, tabled by Mr Gostev, Mr Chaklein, Mr Neguta, Mr Christodoulides, Mr Rogozin, Mr Churkin, Mr Marmazov, Mr Rakhansky, Mr Bakulin and Mr Margelov, which is, in the draft resolution, in the second sentence of paragraph 7, delete the words “through negotiations” and insert the words:

“through political process”.

I call Mr Gostev to support Amendment No. 19.

Mr GOSTEV (Russian Federation) said that the amendment replaced “negotiations” with “political process”.

THE PRESIDENT. – I understand that the Political Affairs Committee wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment: in Amendment No. 19, to delete the words “the second sentence of”, and to delete from “delete” to the end of the amendment, and insert the words “after the word ‘participate’, insert ‘as part of a more general political process’.” The amendment would therefore read:

“In the draft resolution, in paragraph 7, after the word ‘participate’, insert ‘as part of a more general political process’.”

Do more than ten members object to the oral sub-amendment?

I call Lord Judd to move the oral sub-amendment.

Lord JUDD (United Kingdom). – I formally move the oral sub-amendment.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment?…

That is not the case.

The voting is open.

The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment No. 19, as amended?…

That is not the case.

What is the opinion of the committee?

Ms FERIĆ-VAC (Croatia). – The committee is in favour.

THE PRESIDENT. – The voting is open.

Amendment No. 19, as amended, is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 20, tabled by Mr Gostev, Mr Chaklein, Mr Neguta, Mr Christodoulides, Mr Rogozin, Mr Churkin, Mr Marmazov, Mr Rakhansky, Mr Bakulin and Mr Margelov, which is, in the draft resolution, replace paragraph 8 with the following paragraph:

“The Assembly believes that the participation of Mr Maskhadov’s supporters, who renounced violence, would enhance the prospects for political process, and towards this objective hopes for their participation in the Consultative Council proposed in the Strasbourg (November 2001) memorandum.”

I call Mr Rogozin to support Amendment No. 20.

Mr ROGOZIN (Russian Federation) said that the amendment had been agreed by the committee.

THE PRESIDENT. – So, this proposal was not Mr Gostev’s support for Amendment No. 20. I take it that the amendment is now supported.

I understand that the Political Affairs Committee wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment: in Amendment No. 20, to delete the word “replace”, and insert the word “in”, and to delete from “with the following” to the end of the amendment, and insert the words “after the word ‘Chechnya,’, insert ‘or his representatives who renounce violence,’.”.

The amendment would therefore read:

“In the draft resolution, in paragraph 8, after the word ‘Chechnya,’, insert ‘or his representatives who renounce violence,’.”.

I call Lord Judd to move the oral sub-amendment.

Lord JUDD (United Kingdom). – I think we should explain that the chairman of the committee has been called away so I am moving the amendment on his behalf. The objective is to keep to the principle that Mr Maskhadov should be involved. He was the last elected President of Chechnya – a very important point – but we should recognise that he might not be available himself, so his authentic representatives should be able to take his place. However, if they take his place they must be committed to the renunciation of violence.

THE PRESIDENT. – What is the opinion of Mr Gostev, the mover of the amendment?

I call Mr Rogozin to speak on his behalf.

Mr ROGOZIN (Russian Federation) said that the amendment had been agreed by the committee.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment?…

That is not the case.

The voting is open.

The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment No. 20, as amended?…

That is not the case.

The committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 20, as amended, is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 21, tabled by Mr Slutsky, Mr Rogozin, Mr Dmitrijevas, Ms Burataeva, Mr Prisacaru and Mr Margelov, which is, in the draft resolution, delete paragraph 11.

THE PRESIDENT. – I call Mr Slutsky to support Amendment No. 21.

Mr SLUTSKY (Russian Federation) said that the amendment amended paragraph 11 as it made reference to unconfirmed reports about acts committed outside the Russian Federation and the amendment was needed in case they were proved to be true.

THE PRESIDENT. – The Political Affairs Committee wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment: in Amendment No. 21, to delete the word “delete”, and insert the word “in”, and to add at the end “after the word ‘actions’, insert the words ‘if they occurred’.”. The amendment would therefore read:

“In the draft resolution, in paragraph 11, after the word ‘actions’, insert the words ‘if they occurred’.”.

Do more than ten members object to the oral sub-amendment?…

That is not the case.

I understand that the oral sub-amendments are formally moved.

Does the mover of the amendment wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment?

Does Mr Slutsky have an opinion on it?…

That is not the case.

Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment?…

That is also not the case.

The voting is open.

The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment No. 21, as amended?…

That is not the case.

The committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 21, as amended, is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 22, tabled by Mr Chaklein, Mr Gostev, Mr Rogozin, Mr Churkin, Mr Marmazov, Mr Rakhansky, Mr Neguta, Mr Bakulin, Mr Christodoulides and Mr Margelov, which is in the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 11, to add the following words:

“The Assembly calls upon the neighbouring states to adopt urgent measures to stop the activities of terrorist groups in their territories and to bring their leaders to justice.”

I call Mr Rogozin to support Amendment No. 22.

Mr ROGOZIN (Russian Federation) said that the purpose of the amendment was to call for solidarity from the member states of the Council of Europe fighting terrorism on their territory.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?…

That is not the case.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 22 is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 3, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 12, replace the words “who give up their arms and who have not been charged or sentenced for having committed terrorist acts” with the following words:

“who have not been charged with or sentenced for crimes categorised as grave breaches of the Geneva Convention”.

I call Mr Bindig to support Amendment No. 3 on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the amendment would provide for amnesty to Chechens as well as Russians but an example had to be made of those accused of serious crimes.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

I call Mr Rogozin to speak against the amendment.

Mr ROGOZIN (Russian Federation) proposed an oral sub-amendment to Amendment No. 3 inserting the words “who has not been charged with or sentenced for crimes categorised as grave breaches of the Geneva Convention.”.

THE PRESIDENT. – We have a sub-amendment. Before dealing with it, does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?…

That is not the case.

Do ten members object?…

That is not the case.

I ask the mover of the original amendment, Mr Bindig, for his opinion.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the committee could not agree with the oral sub-amendment as the Geneva Convention already applied to the situation and that would be overturned by the oral sub-amendment.

THE PRESIDENT. – You are against the oral sub-amendment, Mr Bindig.

Does anyone wish to speak formally against it?…

That is not the case.

I put the oral sub-amendment to a vote.

The voting is open.

The oral sub-amendment is rejected.

Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment No. 3?

I call Mr Rogozin to speak against the amendment.

Mr ROGOZIN (Russian Federation) said that he had already made his case.

THE PRESIDENT. – Thank you. I understand that the committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 3 is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 1, tabled by Mr Behrendt, Mr Lemoine, Mr Frey, Mr Bergqvist, Mr Adaima, Mrs Durrieu, Mr Bühler, Mr Goris, Mr Hornhues, Mr Baumel, Mrs Fehr, Lord Kilclooney of Armagh, Ms Kautto, Mr Bársony and Mr Prisàcaru, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 13, replace the words:

“However, there are others who took up arms in response to mistreatment, under the influence of emotions or money. These people could and should be convinced that the vicious circle of violence will destroy their land and therefore the only solution is to engage in a political process,”

with the words:

“It also recognises that while there are others who took arms for what they believed to be valid political objectives or in frustration as the result of oppression, there are some who did so for opportunist or criminal reasons or for financial reward. It believes that all those concerned should recognize that the vicious cycle of violence will destroy their land and that the only reasonable way forward is to engage in the political process.”

I call Mr Behrendt to support Amendment No. 1.

Mr BEHRENDT (Germany) said that the amendment was about changing what could be considered a biased statement to take account of other possible motives.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

Mr MARGELOV (Russian Federation) asked to move an oral sub-amendment.

THE PRESIDENT. – Wait a moment.

Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?…

That is not the case.

I call Mr Margelov to move the oral sub-amendment.

Mr MARGELOV (Russian Federation) suggested that the second paragraph of Amendment No. 1 be amended to say that some Chechens took up arms not for what they believed to be valuable political objectives, or in frustration as a result of oppression, but because they were mistaken as a result of separatist rhetoric.

THE PRESIDENT. – Thank you. Do ten members oppose our dealing with the oral sub-amendment?…

That is not the case. We will deal with it.

What is the opinion of Mr Behrendt?

Mr BEHRENDT (Germany) was against the oral sub-amendment.

THE PRESIDENT. – Thank you. Does anyone else wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment?

Lord JUDD (United Kingdom). – The oral sub-amendment is totally unacceptable because we are forming judgments about people’s motivation. There are people who, even if we disagree with their actions, took action on the basis of high ideals or because they were frustrated about the absence of any chance of political progress. Given the chance of such progress, they will be the first to lay down their arms. It would be unfortunate to pass the oral sub-amendment.

THE PRESIDENT. – The committee has no opinion on the oral sub-amendment, but Mr Behrendt and Lord Judd are against it.

The voting is open.

The oral sub-amendment is rejected.

Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?…

That is not the case. The committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 1 is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 4, tabled by Mr Bindig on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, after paragraph 13, add the following paragraph:

“In this connection, the Assembly remains concerned by convincing reports of human rights violations, including unexplained disappearances, arbitrary arrest, illegal detention, and torture and ill-treatment, committed in particular in the course of mop-up operations, as well as attacks on members of the civilian administration. It calls on all sides to the conflict to respect international human rights and humanitarian law. The Assembly further calls on the Russian authorities to fully co-operate with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, so that the latter may determine whether the manner of detention applied in the Chechen Republic fully complies with Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

I call Mr Bindig to support Amendment No. 4 on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the committee remained concerned about continuing human rights violations in Chechnya.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

I call Mr Slutsky to speak against the amendment.

Mr SLUTSKY (Russian Federation) said that the Interior Ministry had already stated that no more “mop-up” operations would take place. All sides had to take account of human rights and international law but international terrorists were not subject to the scrutiny of the Assembly.

THE PRESIDENT. – I understand that the Committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 4 is adopted.

Amendment No. 23 has been withdrawn.

We come to Amendment No. 5, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, replace paragraph 15 with the following paragraph:

“The Assembly therefore regrets that no tangible improvement of the human rights situation could be observed during the past year. In particular, the Assembly deplores the ongoing serious human rights violations in the Chechen Republic, and the lack of progress in investigating past and present crimes, and prosecuting and punishing the perpetrators, which has caused a climate of impunity.”

I call Mr Bindig to support Amendment No. 5.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the amendment reinforced the lack of tangible improvements in human rights in Chechnya. He also supported the oral sub-amendment which had been proposed by the Political Affairs Committee, to delete the word “no” and insert the word “little”. He said that the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights was in favour of the amendment as amended.

THE PRESIDENT. – I understand that the Political Affairs Committee wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment, which is, in Amendment No. 5, to delete the word “no” and insert the word “little”.

The amendment would therefore read:

“In the draft resolution replace paragraph 15 with the following paragraph: ‘The Assembly therefore regrets that little tangible improvement of the human rights situation could be observed’ …”

Do more than ten members object to our dealing with the oral sub-amendment?…

That is not the case.

We shall now vote on the version containing the oral sub-amendment.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 5, as amended, is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 25, tabled by Mr Chaklein, Mr Gostev, Mr Rogozin, Mr Churkin, Mr Marmazov, Mr Rakhansky, Mr Neguta, Mr Bakulin, Mr Christodoulides and Mr Margelov, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 16, delete the words “unreservedly condemns the lack of progress in the investigation” and replace with the words:

“calls upon the Russian authorities to adopt as soon as possible additional measures to finish the investigations”.

I call Mr Chaklein to support amendment No. 25.

Mr CHAKLEIN (Russia) said that the stress in the report on the lack of progress was unobjective. Some action had been taken and that should be reflected in the report.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

I call Lord Judd to speak against the amendment.

Lord JUDD (United Kingdom). – If there was one issue by which I was extremely moved, as well as disturbed, during my visit in December, it was this one. We have repeatedly called for progress in the sort of language that our Russian friends are using. I have said several times that friendship is based on candour and this is the moment at which candour is necessary. I could not be true to my impressions and feelings during my last visit to Russia and accept the Russian amendment. I want the words in the original report to stand.

THE PRESIDENT. – That means the committee is against.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 25 is rejected.

We come to Amendment No. 6, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 16, replace the words “especially the allegations concerning mass killings” with the words:

“especially into:

– the alleged mass killings in Alkhan-Yurt (December 1999), Staropromyslovski (January 2000) and Aldi (February 2000);

– the disappearance of Mr Alikhodzhiyev, speaker of the former parliament of the Chechen Republic;

– the discovery of mass graves, such as the one unearthed on the outskirts of Grozny (February 2001);

– the allegations of torture and ill-treatment in detention, as confirmed inter alia by the CPT”.

I call Mr Bindig to support Amendment No. 6,

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights wished to see not just a general statement on mass killings, but rather a list of particular cases which demanded investigation.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

I call Mr Margelov to speak against the amendment.

Mr MARGELOV (Russian Federation) felt that the original text was more comprehensive.

THE PRESIDENT. – I understand that the committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 6 is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 7, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, after paragraph 16, add the following new paragraph:

“The Assembly notes with satisfaction that the JWG and the Assembly are among the only international fora in which progress on criminal investigations and judicial proceedings for crimes against civilians committed by servicemen is being monitored. It calls on the Russian authorities to again provide it, before its next part-session, with an up-dated and detailed list and the current status of all criminal investigations by military and civilian law enforcement agencies into crimes against the civilian population by servicemen and members of all police and special forces in the Chechen Republic.”

I call Mr Bindig to support amendment No. 7.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the core idea of the amendment was to demand a detailed list setting out the current status of all criminal investigations into crimes committed by servicemen against civilians in Chechnya. He had agreed with the Political Affairs Committee that the first word of the amendment should be “while”.

THE PRESIDENT. – I understand that the Political Affairs Committee wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment, which is, in Amendment No. 7, before “The Assembly”, insert the word “While”, and change the full stop after “monitored” to a comma (so that the new paragraph is all one sentence), and after the words “special forces”, insert the words “and also into crimes committed by Chechen fighters against the civilian population, the local Chechen administration and the federal forces”.

The amendment would therefore read:

“In the draft resolution, after paragraph 16, add the following new paragraph:

‘While the Assembly notes with satisfaction that the JWG and the Assembly are among the only international fora in which progress on criminal investigations and judicial proceedings for crimes against civilians committed by servicemen is being monitored, it calls on the Russian authorities to again provide it, before its next part-session, with an up-dated and detailed list and the current status of all criminal investigations by military and civilian law enforcement agencies into crimes against the civilian population by servicemen and members of all police and special forces and also into crimes committed by Chechen fighters against the civilian population, the local Chechen administration and the federal forces in the Chechen Republic.’.”.

Do more than ten members object to the oral sub-amendment?…

That is not the case.

Nobody objects to the oral sub-amendment and nobody wishes to speak against it, so I shall put the amendment, as amended by the oral sub-amendment to the vote.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 7, as amended, is adopted.

We come to amendment No. 8, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, after paragraph 16, add the following new paragraph:

“The Assembly continues to support the work of the Office of the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Human Rights in the Chechen Republic, and believes the Office’s powers should be widened to ensure a better follow-up of complaints received.”

I call Mr Bindig to support Amendment No. 8.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the amendment would ensure that complaints were dealt with.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?…

That is not the case.

The committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 8 is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 26, tabled by Mr Chaklein, Mr Gostev, Mr Rogazin, Mr Churkin, Mr Marmazov, Mr Rakhansky, Mr Neguta, Mr Bakulin, Mr Christoloulides, Mr Margelov, which is, in the draft resolution, delete paragraph 17 and insert the following paragraph:

“The Assembly welcomes the establishment of a Council for the Protection of Human Rights in the Chechen Republic with the inclusion of representatives of the law enforcement agencies, the Prosecutor's Office, the local Chechen authorities and non-governmental organisations. It believes that the Council of Europe should establish close co-operation with this Council in order to ensure that it is effective in accelerating progress.”

I call Mr Chaklein to support Amendment No. 26

Mr CHAKLEIN (Russian Federation) said that the Council on Human Rights was already in place in Chechnya and therefore the word proposed was inappropriate.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

I call Lord Judd.

Lord JUDD (United Kingdom). – Not to speak against, but to move an oral sub-amendment, which is very simple. Instead of “a” Council, the amendment should refer to “the” Council. To save time, I can say that the committee is in favour.

THE PRESIDENT. – The committee will not be called but it is nice to know that it supports the oral sub-amendment.

Does anyone object to our dealing with the oral sub-amendment?…

That is not the case.

What is Mr Chaklein's opinion on the oral sub-amendment?

Mr CHAKLEIN (Russian Federation) (Translation). – I agree.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment?…

That is not the case.

I can again put the vote on the amended form of the amendment.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 26, as amended, is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 27, tabled by Mr Chaklein, Mr Gostev, Mr Rogazin, Mr Churkin, Mr Marmazov, Mr Rakhansky, Mr Neguta, Mr Bakulin, Mr Christoloulides, Mr Margelov, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 18, delete the words “and remains deeply anxious about the prospect of a still further deteriorating predicament” and replace with the words:

“that should be liquidated in the near future. Refugees should be given assistance in the restoration of the destroyed housing and an opportunity to return to their homes.”

I call Mr Rogozin to support Amendment No. 27.

Mr ROGOZIN (Russian Federation) proposed Amendment No. 27 in amended form.

THE PRESIDENT. – The mover of the amendment moves an oral sub-amendment, which has been agreed with the Political Affairs Committee and states: in Amendment No. 27, delete from “that should be liquidated” to the end, and insert the words “and believes that they should be enabled to return home in security as soon as possible”. The amendment would therefore read:

“In the draft resolution, paragraph 18, delete the words:

“and remains deeply anxious about the prospect of a still further deteriorating predicament”

and replace with the words:

‘and believes that they should be enabled to return home in security as soon as possible.’.”.

Do more than ten members object to the oral sub-amendment?…

That is not the case.

Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment?...

That is not the case.

The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment No. 27, as amended?...

That is not the case.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 27, as amended, is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 33, tabled by Mr Iwiński on behalf of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 18, after the words “to guarantee that the assistance is effectively and properly distributed”, and insert the following words:

“In particular, the Assembly is deeply concerned by the alarming reports that up to 70% of relief aid does not reach directly those to whom it is addressed. These reports should be immediately verified and better accountability and transparency in the distribution of the assistance should be established”.

I call Mr Iwiński to support Amendment No. 33 on behalf of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography.

Mr IWIŃSKI (Poland). – The amendment was unanimously adopted by our committee and aims at improving the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance. The Prime Minister of Chechnya, Mr Iliasov, has informed me personally that up to 70% of relief aid often does not reach those to whom it is addressed. It is important that that should be verified and that the entire procedure should be made more transparent.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?...

That is not the case.

The committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 33 is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 9, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, replace paragraph 21 with the following paragraph:

“The Assembly concludes that the human rights situation in the Chechen Republic remains dismal, and that peace, the rule of law, and respect for human rights in the Chechen Republic were not restored last year.”

I call Mr Bindig to support Amendment No. 9 on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the amendment suggested that the evaluation of human rights was still poor.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

I call Mr Judd to speak against the amendment.

Lord JUDD (United Kingdom). – Of course I understand the feeling and the analysis behind the amendment, but this is one of the few occasions when I beg to differ. The amendment is too absolute. We welcomed the new Council that has been established by Mr Kalamanov. We have the beginnings of other initiatives. I find, and I have said honestly in my report, that the progress is frustratingly slow. That is a more honest assessment of the situation. My other objection is that I never believed, and I cannot be associated with an amendment which suggested that I did, that we could do it in one year. To say that it did not happen last year is unfortunate. That is just not realistic.

THE PRESIDENT. – So the committee is against the amendment?…

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 9 is rejected.

We come to Amendment No. 34, tabled by Mr Iwiński, on behalf of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography, which is, in the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 21, add the following words:

“Consequently, the authorities should refrain from any kind of forced returns of refugees and displaced persons, and all those who wish to stay in the camps and benefit from relief aid should be given such a possibility.”

I call Mr Iwiński to support Amendment No. 34 on behalf of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography.

Mr IWIŃSKI (Poland). – As long as serious violations of humanitarian law occur, there will be no mass returns. In those circumstances, it is important that the authorities refrain from the enforced return of refugees and displaced persons. I take the opportunity to deal with the issue raised by Ms Zwerver. A significant number of Chechens remain in Ingushetia who are economic migrants, rather than displaced persons. They run small businesses and probably will not return to Chechnya at all. However, it would be unjustified to deprive them of internally displaced persons status. They should still benefit from relief aid. Historically, Chechnya and Ingushetia formed a single republic for many years.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?...

That is not the case.

The committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 34 is adopted.

Amendment No. 24 has been withdrawn.

We come to Amendment No. 10, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, replace the first sentence of paragraph 22 with the following sentence:

“However, the Assembly recognises that there are indications that more constructive political ways to deal with the conflict are taking hold in the Russian Federation.”

I call Mr Bindig to support Amendment No. 10 on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

MR BINDIG (Germany) said that the amendment was moved for similar reasons to the previous amendment.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

I call Lord Judd to speak against the amendment.

Lord JUDD (United Kingdom). – The argument that I used against the previous amendment applies to this one. It would be tedious to repeat it. Suffice it to say that matters are frustratingly slow.

THE PRESIDENT. – That means that the committee is also against the amendment.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 10 is rejected.

We come to Amendment No. 11, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, in the last sentence of paragraph 22, delete the words

“while success cannot soon be guaranteed”.

I call Mr Bindig to support Amendment No. 11 on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the amendments where the committees disagreed had been dealt with and the amendment was intended to ensure the resolution did not say at the outset that a process was going to be lengthy or ineffective.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?…

That is not the case.

The committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 11 is adopted.

Amendments Nos. 28 and 29 have been withdrawn, so we come to Amendment No. 12, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 26, after the words “must remain present in the”, insert the words, “Chechen Republic, and the”.

I call Mr Bindig to support Amendment No. 12 on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the purpose of the amendment was to ensure the forces of the Russian Federation remained in Chechnya.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?…

That is not the case.

The committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 12 is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 13, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 26, replace the words:

“while the work for human rights will remain essential, it is necessary to extend the scope of the activities of the Council of Europe to”

with the following words:

“the work for human rights in the Chechen Republic will remain essential, but that the scope of the activities of the Council of Europe could also be extended to”.

I call Mr Bindig to support the amendment.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the purpose of the amendment was to ensure that the work in relation to human rights within Chechnya would be extended to the region.

THE PRESIDENT. – I understand that the Political Affairs Committee wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment: in Amendment No. 13, in the last line, delete the word “could” and insert the word “should”. The amendment would therefore read:

“In the draft resolution, paragraph 26, replace the words ‘while the work for human rights will remain essential, it is necessary to extend the scope of the activities of the Council of Europe to’ with the following words:

“the work for human rights in the Chechen Republic will remain essential, but that the scope of the activities of the Council of Europe should also be extended to’.”.

Do more than ten members object to the oral sub-amendment?…

That is not the case.

The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment No. 13, as amended?…

That is not the case.

The committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 13, as amended, is adopted.

We will now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft resolution in Document 9319, as amended.

The voting is open.

The draft resolution in Document 9319, as amended, is adopted.

The Political Affairs Committee has also presented a draft recommendation to which eight amendments and one sub-amendment have been tabled.

They will be taken in the order in which they appear on the notice paper. Members are asked to note that if Amendment No. 30 is agreed to, Amendment No. 15 will fall.

We come to Amendment No. 14, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft recommendation, after the words “The Parliamentary Assembly refers to”, insert the words:

“its Resolution 1240 (2001), Recommendation 1498 (2001), and”.

I call Mr Bindig to support Amendment No. 14 on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the amendment related to important ideas.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

I call Lord Judd to speak against the amendment.

Lord JUDD (United Kingdom). – I, as rapporteur, and the committee were very anxious to accommodate the recommendation of the Political Affairs Committee, as just proposed by Mr Bindig. However, we were also anxious to accommodate the amendment tabled by the Russians in this context –

THE PRESIDENT. – You are speaking against an amendment, but the committee is in favour of it. To make it clear, I should say that nobody wants to speak against the amendment. Lord Judd did not mean to do so.

The committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 14 is adopted.

THE PRESIDENT. – Attention. Many amendments and oral sub-amendments have been proposed.

I have received an oral amendment on behalf of the Political Affairs Committee which reads as follows:

“Delete paragraph 1 and replace it by the following two paragraphs:

–immediately take steps to establish a long term Council of Europe presence in the Chechen Republic with a purpose to contributing to full respect for human rights and the rule of law;

–in accordance with Resolution (99) 9, establish a Council of Europe information office in the North Caucasus with the purpose, together with the European Union, of strengthening the democratic stability in the region.”.

If the oral amendment is agreed to by the Assembly, Amendments Nos. 30, 15 and 31 will fall.

I remind the Assembly of Rule 34 which enables the President to accept an oral amendment on the grounds of promoting clarity, accuracy or conciliation, and if there is not opposition from ten or more members to it being debated.

In my opinion the oral amendment meets the criteria of Rule 34.6. Is there any opposition to the amendment being debated?…

That is not the case.

I call Lord Judd to support the oral amendment.

Lord JUDD (United Kingdom). – We wanted to accept the Legal Affairs Committee amendment as well as the Russian amendment. We spent a long time late last night trying to draft it, when the interpreter brilliantly sorted out what we were trying to say. The oral amendment was what emerged so I want to give credit for that to the interpreter.

THE PRESIDENT. – Unfortunately, we can only do that indirectly.

Does anyone wish to speak against the oral amendment?…

That is not the case.

The committee is obviously in favour.

The voting is open.

Oral amendment No. 1 is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 16, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft recommendation, after paragraph 2, insert a new paragraph:

“in view of serious on-going human rights violations in the Chechen Republic, take the necessary measures to ensure that the rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights are fully respected in the Chechen Republic, and that all violators of these rights are held accountable without further delay.”

We come to Sub-Amendment No. 1 to Amendment No. 16, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, after the words “in the Chechen Republic, insert the following words:

“encourage the Russian authorities to”.

I call Mr Bindig to move the amendment in its amended form, incorporating the sub-amendment.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the amendment called on the Committee of Ministers to take the necessary measures to guarantee human rights in Chechnya.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the Bindig-amended Bindig amendment?…

That is not the case.

The committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 16, as amended, is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 32, tabled by Mr Chaklein, Mr Gostev, Mr Rogozin, Mr Churkin, Mr Marmazov, Mr Rakhansky, Mr Neguta, Mr Bakulin, Mr Christodoulides and Mr Margelov, which is, in the draft recommendation, delete paragraph 4 and insert a new paragraph:

“provide support for a Council for the Protection of Human Rights in the Chechen Republic created under the auspices of the Office of Mr Kalamanov, and establish close cooperation between the Council of Europe and the Council.”

I call Mr Chaklein to support Amendment No. 32.

Mr CHAKLEIN (Russian Federation) said that the amendment would bring paragraph 4 into line with paragraph 17 and establish co-operation between the Council for the Protection of Human Rights in Chechnya and the Council of Europe.

THE PRESIDENT. - I understand that the Political Affairs Committee wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment, which is, in Amendment No. 32, after “support for” delete the word “a”, and insert the word “the”. The amendment would therefore read:

“In the draft recommendation, delete paragraph 4 and insert a new paragraph:

‘provide support for the Council for the Protection of Human Rights in the Chechen Republic created under the auspices of the Office of Mr Kalamanov, and establish close co-operation between the Council of Europe and the Council.’.”.

Do more than ten members object to the oral sub-amendment?…

That is not the case.

The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment No. 32, as amended?…

That is not the case.

Amendment No. 32, as amended, is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 17, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft recommendation, after paragraph 4, insert a new paragraph:

“continue to support the work of the Office of the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Human Rights in the Chechen Republic.”

I call Mr Bindig to support Amendment No. 17 on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the amendment called on the Committee of Ministers to support the work of the Office of the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Human Rights in the Chechen Republic.

THE PRESIDENT. – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?…

That is not the case.

The committee is in favour.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 17 is adopted.

We come to Amendment No. 18, tabled by Mr Bindig, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, which is, in the draft recommendation, after paragraph 4, insert a new paragraph:

“urge the Russian authorities to continue to co-operate with all Council of Europe bodies, including the CPT, and to authorise without further delay the publication of those reports of the CPT on its visits to the North Caucasus region that are currently classified”.

I call Mr Bindig to support Amendment No. 18 on behalf of the committee.

Mr BINDIG (Germany) said that the amendment called on the Russian Federation to publish currently classified reports of the Committee on the Prevention of Torture. He said that Mr Rogozin wished to proposed an oral sub-amendment which maintained the same broad idea as the original amendment.

THE PRESIDENT. – I call Mr Rogozin to support the oral sub-amendment.

Mr ROGOZIN (Russian Federation) said that the Assembly should not adopt a tone of ultimatum towards its members.

THE PRESIDENT. – I listened to the oral sub-amendment in the English translation and it is totally clear.

Is anyone against dealing with the oral sub-amendment?…

That is not the case.

Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment?…

That is not the case.

The committee is obviously in favour, but the sub-amendment was proposed by another committee so I shall ask the opinion of the Political Affairs Committee.

Ms FERIĆ-VAC (Croatia). – The committee is in favour.

THE PRESIDENT. – The voting is open.

The oral sub-amendment is adopted.

Does anyone wish to speak against Amendment No. 18 as amended?…

That is not the case.

The voting is open.

Amendment No. 18, as amended, is adopted.

We will now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft recommendation contained in Document 9319, as amended.

The voting is open.

The draft recommendation in Document 9319, as amended, is adopted.

I thank the committees and the rapporteurs for their excellent work and for their assistance in a not so easy process of voting.

(Mr Lekberg, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Schieder.)

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