Back Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Chechnya

A delegation of the European Committee for the prevention of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CPT) has recently carried out a one-week visit (23 to 29 May 2003) to the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation. It was the sixth time since the outbreak of the current conflict in Chechnya that the CPT has examined the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the Republic.

The CPT's delegation consisted of Zdenĕk HÁJEK (Head of delegation), a Czech lawyer, Jean-Pierre RESTELLINI, a Swiss medical doctor, and Davor STRINOVIĆ, a Croatian forensic doctor, together with Trevor STEVENS (Executive Secretary) and Petya NESTOROVA of the Committee's Secretariat.

The delegation focused its attention on the treatment of persons detained by Federal forces and by Federal and Republican law enforcement agencies. Forced disappearances and unofficial places of detention were among the issues explored during the visit. In addition, conditions of detention in pre-trial establishments were reviewed, including at the recently reopened SIZO No 1 in Grozny.

The delegation visited the following places of deprivation of liberty:

  • ORB-2 (operational/search bureau of the North Caucasus operations directorate of the Chief directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia responsible for the Southern federal region), Staropromyslovkyi Rd., Grozny;
  •  IVS (temporary detention facility) of the Directorate of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Chechen Republic, Grozny;
  • Leninskyi District Department of Internal Affairs, Grozny;
  •  Zavodskyi District Department of Internal Affairs, Grozny;
  •  Naurskyi District Department of Internal Affairs, Naurskaya;
  •  Groznenskyi District Department of Internal Affairs, Tolstoy  Yurt;
  •  SIZO (pre-trial establishment) No 1, Grozny;
  •  SIZO No 2, Chernokozovo.

In the course of the visit, the CPT's delegation held discussions with numerous senior officials of the Chechen Republic Administration and of Federal structures. They included Mr A. KADYROV, Acting President of the Chechen Republic, General MAKAROV, Commander of the Allied Group of Forces in the North Caucasian region, Mr R. DUDAEV, Chairman of the Security Council of the Chechen Republic, Mr A. ALKHANOV, Minister of the Interior of the Chechen Republic, Mr Z. ZAVERBEKOV, Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic, Mr V. KRAVCHENKO, Prosecutor of the Chechen Republic, and Mr A. MOKRITSKY, Military Prosecutor of the Allied Group of Forces.

The President of the CPT, Ms S. CASALE, joined the delegation in the Chechen Republic from 26 to 27 May 2003. Subsequently, on 28 May 2003, she had talks in Moscow on issues arising out the visit with Mr A. SULTYKOV, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for ensuring human and civil rights and freedoms in the Chechen Republic, and Ms E. PAMFILOVA, Chairperson of the Commission for Human Rights under the President of the Russian Federation.

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