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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 25 April to 4 May 2006 and was the eighth organised by the Council of Europe Anti-Torture body to this part of Russia since the year 2000. The CPT’s delegation examined for the first time the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the Republic of Dagestan and also returned to the Chechen and Ingush Republics.
09/05/2006
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On 1 May 2006, the CPT’s delegation took the exceptional measure of interrupting the visit, following a denial of access to Tsentoroy (Khosi-Yurt), a village in the Chechen Republic situated south-east of Gudermes. However, following assurances received from the President of the Chechen Republic, the delegation decided to resume the visit and it gained access to Tsentoroy in the early afternoon of 2 May. The delegation wished to visit the village as it had grounds for believing that one or more facilities that could be used as unofficial places of detention were located there. For similar reasons, the delegation visited the Headquarters of the Vostok Battalion of the 42nd Division of the Ministry of Defence, which are situated close to Gudermes.

The delegation also visited the following law enforcement and prison establishments:

Chechen Republic

  • ORB-2 (Operational/Search Bureau of the Main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia responsible for the Southern Federal Region), Grozny
  • IVS (temporary detention facility) of the Temporary Operational task force of Agencies and Units (VOGOiP) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, Grozny (located on the premises of ORB-2)
  • IVS of the Leninskiy District Division of Internal Affairs, Grozny
  • IVS of the Gudermes District Division of Internal Affairs
  • SIZO (pre-trial establishment) No 1, Grozny

Republic of Dagestan

  • IVS of the Internal Affairs Department of Makhachkala City
  • IVS of the Buynaksk City Internal Affairs Division
  • IVS of the Kaspiysk City Internal Affairs Division
  • Kirovskiy District Police Station, Makhachkala
  • Internal Affairs Department for Combating Organised Crime (UBOP), Makhachkala
  • Makhachkala Internal Affairs Division for Transport
  • SIZO No 1, Makhachkala
  • SIZO No 3, Khasavyurt

Republic of Ingushetia

  • IVS of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ingushetia, Nazran
  • Internal Affairs Department for Combating Organised Crime (UBOP), Nazran

Further, the delegation visited the Republican Forensic Medical Bureaux in Grozny and Makhachkala.

In the Chechen Republic, the CPT’s delegation had discussions with the President, Alu ALKHANOV, the Prime Minister, Ramzan KADYROV, the Prosecutor of the Republic, Valery KUZNETSOV, and the Human Rights Commissioner, Nurdi NUKHAZHIYEV. The delegation also met the Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Ingushetia, Beslan KHAMKHOYEV, as well as senior officials of the Republic of Dagestan responsible for law enforcement and prison establishments.

In addition, the delegation had consultations with representatives of the NGOs “Memorial” and Moscow Helsinki Group.

On 5 May 2006, during talks in Moscow chaired by the Deputy Minister of Justice, Yevgeny ZABARCHUK, 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, Derrick POUNDER, a British forensic doctor, and two members of the CPT’s Secretariat, Trevor STEVENS (Executive Secretary) and Elvin ALIYEV.