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Visit by Council of Europe anti-torture Committee to the North Caucasian region of the Russian Federation

A delegation of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has recently carried out a visit to the North Caucasian region of the Russian Federation. The visit took place from 4 to 10 September 2006 and was the ninth organised by the Council of Europe Anti-Torture body to this part of Russia since the year 2000. This visit focused on the Chechen Republic and was designed to explore in greater depth certain issues arising out of the visit carried out earlier in the year (April/May 2006).
13/09/2006
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The CPT’s delegation visited the following law enforcement establishments:

  • IVS (temporary detention facility) of the Temporary Operational task force of Agencies and Units (VOGOiP) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, located on the premises of ORB-2* in Grozny
  • 1st inter-district division of ORB-2, Urus-Martan
  • 4th inter-district division of ORB-2, Gudermes
  • Argun District Division of Internal Affairs
  • Gudermes District Division of Internal Affairs
  • Leninskiy District Division of Internal Affairs, Grozny
  • Naur District Division of Internal Affairs
  • Shali District Division of Internal Affairs
  • Urus-Martan District Division of Internal Affairs
  • Zavodskiy District Division of Internal Affairs, Grozny

The delegation also visited SIZO No 1 (pre-trial establishment) in Grozny, as well as SIZO No 2 and Correctional Colony No 2 in Chernokozovo, in order to interview certain prisoners and to consult relevant documentation.

In the context of allegations of the unlawful detention of persons, the delegation returned to the village of Tsentoroy (Khosi-Yurt) in the Kurchaloy district. It also visited for the first time a base situated in the outskirts of Gudermes and currently used by the 9th Company of the 2nd Regiment of the Internal Affairs Patrol-Sentry Service.

One of the objectives of the visit was to obtain detailed information on investigations into cases involving allegations of ill-treatment. In this context, the CPT's delegation had constructive consultations in Moscow at the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation and subsequently, in Grozny, at the Office of the Prosecutor of the Chechen Republic.

In the course of the visit, the delegation met representatives of the NGOs Demos, Human Rights Watch and Memorial, as well as members of the Bar Association of the Chechen Republic.

Before leaving the Chechen Republic, the delegation held discussions with the President, Alu ALKHANOV, at a meeting also attended by other senior officials, including the Minister of the Interior, Ruslan ALKHANOV, and the Prosecutor of the Republic, Valery KUZNETSOV.

On 11 September 2006, during talks in Moscow chaired by the Deputy Minister of Justice, Oleg KHLUPIN, the CPT’s delegation provided the Russian authorities with its preliminary observations.

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The CPT’s delegation consisted of Mauro PALMA, the Committee’s First Vice-President and member in respect of Italy (Head of delegation), Andres LEHTMETS, Second Vice-President of the CPT and member in respect of Estonia, Marija DEFINIS GOJANOVIĆ, member of the CPT in respect of Croatia, Eric SVANIDZE, a lawyer and former member of the CPT in respect of Georgia, and two members of the CPT’s Secretariat, Trevor STEVENS (Executive Secretary) and Elvin ALIYEV.

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* Operational/Search Bureau of the Main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia responsible for the Southern Federal Region.