PACE & Conflict in the Chechen Republic
The conflict in Chechnya is on the agenda of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on January 29, 2003. Three committees of PACE worked out reports called "Evaluation of the prospects for a political solution of the conflict in the Chechen Republic". You can read excerpts from the reports, which will be debated at PACE on Wednesday, below:
Political Affairs Committee – Rapporteur: Lord Judd (United Kingdom)
"The economic and human cost of the conflict in the Chechen Republic continues to be intolerably high for the people of the Republic and for the people of Russia. A real lasting solution to the Chechen conflict will have a positive message with immense significance about the potential for building peace through reconciliation across the world. A failure will play into the hands of the dangerous forces of relentless extremism.
The human rights and humanitarian issues are central to the prospects and viability of any settlement if it is not to prove phyrric. The growing recognition of the indispensability of a political solution is important. However, before any referendum takes place conditions must be fulfilled such as proper information and transparency, and constitutional proposals must be the logical outcome of a “realistic” political process." Full report.
Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights - Rapporteur: Rudolf Bindig (Germany)
"1. The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights fully supports the Political Affairs Committee in its analysis of the situation and its findings. In particular, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights aligns itself with the Political Affairs Committee in its call to postpone the referendum on the draft constitution of the Chechen Republic. The Committee agrees that the necessary conditions for the holding of such a referendum are not and cannot be met by 23 March 2003, in view of the rising insecurity in the Republic. There is no possibility for a free and democratic vote when even the 80.000 law enforcement-troops stationed in the Republic (at a ratio of 1 soldier to six adult civilians), the presence of multiple barricaded checkpoints (I counted 28 on a 40 km stretch of road from Grozny to the Ingush border) and severe restrictions on the freedom of movement and assembly do not guarantee the safety of civilians in the Chechen Republic.
2. The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights would like to draw particular attention to the human rights situation in the Chechen Republic, which remains dismal. Civilians are targeted by both sides to the conflict, in violation of international humanitarian law. Some Chechen fighters have been perpetrating gruesome terrorist attacks, and routinely kidnap and kill their countrymen involved in the administration of the Republic. Some members of the Russian forces have also been continuing their harassment and brutality against civilians, culminating in illegal arrests, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial executions. The Russian authorities seem to be unwilling or unable to stop these grave human rights violations from happening. The prosecuting bodies seem equally unwilling or unable (or are being systematically obstructed in their efforts) to find and bring to justice the guilty parties. A climate of impunity thus reigns in the Chechen Republic which makes normal life in the Republic impossible." Full report.
Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography - Rapporteur: Tadeusz Iwiński (Poland)
"Nearly all the recommendations to the Russian and Chechen authorities contained in the previous opinion of the Committee on the conflict in the Chechen Republic (Doc. 9330) remain valid. Regrettably, there has been no significant improvement in security and humanitarian situation which would allow for mass returns of internally displaced persons from Chechnya." Full report.
You can also visit PACE's website.
Compiled by Prague Watchdog.
(T) RELATED ARTICLES:
· PACE & Conflict in the Chechen Republic (January 2002)