Russia has made some progress toward bringing domestic law into conformity with international law in the areas of prohibiting and criminalizing torture and providing redress to victims. However, significant gaps remain.
Russia is a party to most major human rights conventions. It ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the 1984 U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (hereinafter the Convention against Torture) in 1976 and 1987 respectively. Following its accession to the Council of Europe, Russia ratified the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) in May 1998.
In accordance with article 15(4) of the Russian constitution, international law has priority over domestic law and is directly applicable.149 This means that Russian officials, including police officers, prosecutors, and judges are supposed to apply international law directly, even if provisions of international law are not explicitly incorporated in domestic legislation. It is extremely improbable, however, that a defendant would be able to make practical use of article 15(4) in a court of law. In practice, knowledge of international law is extremely limited among legal professionals, and officials and defense attorneys hardly ever make use of it. In court, references to international law (and even to Russia's constitution) often elicit smirks or irritation.
Prohibition and Criminalization of Torture and Ill-Treatment
Few elements of international human rights law are as unequivocal as the ban on torture. Russian law criminalizes certain acts of torture, though not all.
A large body of international legal authority has evolved over the last fifty years that forbids the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. The prohibition is embodied in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in article 5: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." That right is reaffirmed verbatim in article 7 of the ICCPR, and in article 21(1) ofthe Russian constitution.150 Apart from these treaties, the prohibition against torture is widely considered a jus cogens norm, that is, a binding and peremptory norm of customary international law from which no derogation is permitted. The Russian criminal procedure code also bans the coercion of "a defendant or other participant in a case to give testimony by means of violence, threats and other unlawful means,"151 and since March 1999 the law on police also forbids the use of torture and ill-treatment.152
The Convention against Torture, article 1, defines torture as:
any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
Under this definition, torture is an act that causes severe pain or suffering, which can be either physical or mental, and must be inflicted intentionally.
Russia's criminal code makes torture punishable, although the relevant articles do not cover the full scope of acts that constitute torture under the definition set out in the Convention against Torture. Article 111 sets penalties of from two to fifteen years of imprisonment for premeditated, serious bodily injury, but does not specifically address perpetrators who are acting in an official capacity. Article 117 addresses ill-treatment, but also does not specifically address perpetrators who are acting in an official capacity. It states:
Infliction of physical or psychological suffering by administering systematic beatings or other violent means, if this did not have theconsequences indicated in article 111 [severe damage to health] and 112 [damage to health of average seriousness] of this law is punishable by deprivation of freedom for up to three years.153
Torture is invoked as an aggravating circumstance in article 117(2d), which states that the above-mentioned crime "with application of torture is punishable by deprivation of freedom for a period of three to seven years." The term "torture" is not defined in the article.154 Under Russian law, law enforcement officers do not enjoy immunity from prosecution under this article.
Article 117 is deficient because it fails to criminalize causing physical or psychological suffering by non-violent means. Thus, the use of threats against the person himself or third persons is not punishable under this article.
Russian legislators have chosen not to include torture as an aggravating circumstance in the infliction of physical or psychological suffering that caused death, severe injury, or injury of average seriousness. As a result, a police officer can be tried for "infliction of physical or psychological suffering...with application of torture" for ill-treating someone without leaving any lasting damage, but if he tortures his victim to death, he may be tried simply for murder.
Torture committed by an official is considered an aggravated circumstance of coercion to give testimony (article 302 of the criminal code). Article 302 states:
1. Coercion of a suspect, defendant, victim [of crime] or witness into giving testimony or coercion of an expert into giving a conclusion by means of threats, blackmail or other unlawful means by an investigator or person carrying out the inquiry is punishable by deprivation of freedom for a period of up to three years.
2. The same action, together with the application of violence, degrading treatment or torture is punishable by deprivation of freedom for a period of two to eight years.
This article makes coercion by public officials of suspects to confess punishable. However, article 302 fails to apply to third parties who inflict pain and suffering at the behest of, or in complicity with, a public official, which is common in Russia through the phenomenon of the "pressing room."
Treaties and declarations developed during the last two decades prohibit both torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. The Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted by the U.N. on December 9, 1975 (hereinafter the Declaration on Torture), states in article 2 that "[T]orture constitutes an aggravated and deliberate form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" (emphasis added), while stressing in article 3 that no state may permit or tolerate it under any circumstances. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the distinction between torture and inhuman or degrading treatment "would appear to have been embodied in the Convention to allow the special stigma of "torture" to attach only to deliberate inhuman treatment causing very serious and cruel suffering."155
The European Court of Human Rights further established a strict threshold for physical force against detainees. In the case of Ribitsch v. Austria, the court ruled that:
In respect of a person deprived of his liberty, any recourse to physical force which has not been made strictly necessary by his own conduct diminishes human dignity and is in principle an infringement of the right set forth in Article 3.156
Forced Confessions in Court/The Right not to Testify against Oneself
Russian and international law both unequivocally forbid forced confessions. Article 15 of the Convention against Torture orders states parties to ensure that statements obtained through torture not be used as evidence in, except against the person accused of torture.157 This provision is closely related to article 14(3g) of the ICCPR, which states that anyone charged with a criminal offense shall not "becompelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt."158 Similarly, article 51(1) of the Russian constitution states that no one is obliged to testify against himself, his spouse or close relatives.159 Article 69 of the criminal procedure code precludes the use in court of testimony taken in violation of the law cannot be used in court.160
Investigation of Torture Allegations
Article 12 of the Convention against Torture obliges states parties to initiate a prompt and impartial investigation of torture complaints whenever circumstances give "reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed." Article 13 of the ECHR requires states to establish "an effective remedy before a national authority" for anyone whose rights and freedoms as set out in the convention have been violated. In addition, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that article 1 of the ECHR, in conjunction with article 3, requires an effective investigation of torture complaints whenever the applicant has an "arguable claim."161 For example, in the case of Assenov and others v. Bulgaria it stated:
The Court considers that, in these circumstances, where an individual raises an arguable claim that he has been seriously ill-treated by the police or other agents of the State unlawfully and in breach of Article 3, that provision, read in conjunction with the State's general duty under Article 1 of the Convention to "secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms in [the] Convention," requires by implication that there should be an effective official investigation [of alleged violations of the rights set forth in the Convention.] Thisobligation...should be capable of leading to the identification and punishment of those responsible.162
The court elaborated upon the need for a sufficiently thorough and effective investigation in various decisions, as in the case of Assenov and Others v. Bulgaria, in which the court held that Bulgaria had denied the applicant an effective remedy. In this case, prosecutors had failed to immediately question a series of witnesses to a police beating of a Roma adolescent in public. In addition, prosecutors at various levels had concluded, without a proper investigation, that "even if the blows were administered on the body of the juvenile, they occurred as a result of disobedience of police orders" and that the boy's father had caused the injuries.163
In another decision (Aksoy v. Turkey), the European Court of Human Rights ruled that if an applicant was in good health when detained and injured at the time of release, the burden of proof lies with the government:
[W]here an individual is taken into police custody in good health but is found to be injured at the time of release, it is incumbent on the State to provide a plausible explanation as to the causing of injury, failing which a clear issue rises under Article 3.164
Article 13 of the Convention against Torture also obliges states to ensure individuals the right to complain and to be protected against repercussions for filing a complaint.165
The U.N. Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions encourage states to investigate all suspected cases of extra-legal, arbitrary, and summary executions. These authoritative standards explicitly include deaths in custody if there are "complaints by relatives or other reliable reports" which suggest that an unnatural death occurred. The investigation, which must be thorough, prompt, and impartial, should"determine the cause, manner and time of death, the person responsible, and any pattern or practice which may have brought about that death" and should result in a publicly available written report.166
In Russia, the procuracy is the primary body responsible for ensuring observance of human rights, including the procedural and other rights of criminal suspects, defendants, and other detainees. However, the procuracy also plays the principal role in prosecuting crimes, as it is in charge of investigating certain categories of criminal cases and prosecutes defendants in court. Human Rights Watch's research has shown that procuracy review of a torture complaint is in most cases a mere formality, and that an effective remedy for torture victims does not exist. In some death in custody cases, however, those alleged responsible for the detainees death were brought to trial.167
Redress and Compensation
Under article 14 of the Convention against Torture, states parties are obliged to provide for an enforceable right to adequate and fair redress and compensationfor the victims of torture.168 The European Court of Human Rights considers the requirement of an "effective remedy" under the ECHR to include a right to compensation.169
Russian law provides the right to compensation for both material and moral damages suffered by torture victims. However, with several exceptions, this right is essentially unenforceable. The general provision of article 53 of the Russian constitution, in combination with articles 1069, 1070, and 151(1) of the civil code, provide a sufficient legal basis for compensation for both moral and material damages for torture victims.170 According to these articles, damages (including moral damages) caused by the unlawful actions committed by the agencies of theinvestigation, criminal prosecution, or by the procuracy are subject to compensation.
In the absence of a sufficient body of case law, it further remains unclear whether Russian law provides for "fair and adequate" compensation of damages suffered by torture victims. According to articles 151(2) and 1101(2 and 3) of the civil code, courts determine the size of such a compensation. In determining this, courts must take into consideration, among other things, the character and level of physical and moral suffering of the victim, and the level of guilt of the person who caused the damage.171 Under article 1064 of the civil code, material damages must be compensated in full.172
Human Rights Watch knows of only one case in which a court granted compensation for damages to torture victims and their relatives. In 1998, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Mordovia awarded 200,000 rubles (at the time approximately U.S.$33,333) in compensation for damages to the mother of Oleg Igonin, a young man who died as a result of torture. It granted several other torture victims compensation damages ranging from 30,000 to 50,000 rubles (approximately, U.S.$5,000 to U.S.$8,333).
HOLDING RUSSIA TO ITS INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS
Russia's compliance with its obligations under the Convention against Torture and other international agreements for the prevention of torture has been under the scrutiny of a range of intergovernmental bodies and mechanisms in the 1990s, notably by European and United Nations bodies. This oversight, as well as Russia's bilateral relations with a number of states, has led to significant reporting and advocacy regarding the prevention of torture, unfortunately to little avail.
In this chapter we primarily discuss the international community's response to allegations and well-established cases of torture aimed at eliciting confessions from suspects and detainees. In the summary of U.N. Special Rapporteur Nigel Rodley's findings, however, we also discuss conditions in pretrial detention as essential to an understanding of the atrocious conditions in which many torture victims are held, often for years on end, before their eventual transfer to a prison colony or release.
Committee against Torture
The Soviet Union ratified the Convention against Torture in 1987. Russia, as the Soviet Union's successor state, submitted its second periodic report on implementation of the convention in 1996, which the Committee against Torture considered in November 1996. In its conclusions, the Committee found that Russia had made considerable progress in legislation toward protecting its citizens against torture, and it commended in particular the human rights provisions of Russia's 1993 constitution.
However, the committee expressed concern about "widespread allegations of torture and ill-treatment of persons in custody with a view to securing confessions, general allegations of ill-treatment of detainees and the absence of effective machinery to address such complaints promptly." It further decried Russia's failure to create a specific crime of torture in domestic law as well as the slow rate at which domestic legislation is being harmonized with constitutional and international norms of human rights.
The Committee recommended that Russia introduce the crime of torture, using the definition of the Convention against Torture, as a separate crime, with sufficiently severe punishment to reflect the gravity of the offense. It further called for the establishment of an "effective machinery to monitor the conditions under which investigations of crimes are conducted" and "an appropriate process for theprompt investigation of complaints of suspects, detainees and prisoners and the prosecution of offenders."173
Special Rapporteur on Torture
At the invitation of the Russian government, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture Nigel Rodley visited Russia from July 17 to 28, 1994 to investigate questions relevant to torture in Russia, and specifically conditions in pretrial detention centers. During the visit the special rapporteur visited various police detention centers, pretrial detention centers, prison colonies, and a hospital for detainees in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and their immediate vicinity. He also spoke to numerous officials and human rights activists. On November 16, 1994, the special rapporteur issued a detailed report with his findings.174
Ill-treatment and Coercion to Confess
The special rapporteur reported receiving numerous allegations of police brutality at the time a suspect is taken into custody, and of investigators and representatives of the procuracy pressuring suspects to confess. He noted:
[T]here is an initial period where a person may be held, formally for no more than three hours, for screening, identification checks and verification of any earlier police record. During this period the suspect is not logged in. The logging in only occurs after the investigator has produced a form confirming the details the screening is designed to elicit. During this period, there is no record of the detainee's presence... Accordingly, the period of temporary detention could provide an opportunity for abuse to occur.175
He noted in his report that he was unable to investigate allegations of police brutality and torture by proxy in detail, as he was not able to speak to detainees in private, because an official of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was present during all meetings with detainees.176 In the context of these limitations, the special rapporteur stated that although beatings and other forms of ill-treatment appear to be frequent, he did not conclude that they are routine.177 The special rapporteurfurther reported "persistent reports from reliable sources" that violent inmates are intentionally placed in cells to brutalize other inmates and break their will with a view to securing a confession.178 The special rapporteur stated that most police appeared to believe they could act with impunity and were not deterred by the criminalization of torture and ill-treatment in Russia's criminal code.179
Detention Policies, Court Review, and Length of Detention
The special rapporteur severely criticized Russia's detention policies. He stated in his report:
Article 9 (3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantees that persons awaiting trial shall not generally be kept in detention. Detention before trial should be used only where it is lawful, reasonable and necessary. The Human Rights Committee has interpreted the "necessity" requirement narrowly. The Committee has found that detention may be necessary "to prevent flight, interference with evidence or the recurrence of crime"...or "where the person concerned constitutes a clear and serious threat to society which cannot be contained in any other manner."... The seriousness of the crime or the need for continued investigation, considered alone, do not justify prolonged pre-trial detention.... Under this interpretation of article 9 (3) it would be difficult to justify the all-too-common practice within the Russian Federation of detaining non-violent first-time suspected offenders.180
In fact, the special rapporteur found that investigators and procurators rarely choose any other measure of restraint than custody: "Indeed, the entire investigative and judicial procedures to determine the guilt or innocence of a suspect places pressures on the investigator, prosecutor and judge to remand even non-violent first-time offenders."181 The special rapporteur further noted that the judicial review process of the lawfulness of detention is of limited use as "courts almost always confirm the lawfulness of the detention."182
He further criticized the long periods of time many detainee spend in pretrial detention centers:
Article 9 (3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also guarantees the right to trial within a reasonable time or to release. Although the Human Rights Committee has not provided specific guidelines on what constitutes a reasonable time, it is clear that the 18-month limit on pre-trial detention in the Russian Federation is incompatible with article 9 (3) of the Covenant, particularly in the light of the fact that the length of detention may be extended by years due to unreasonable delays during the course of a trial.183
Since the special rapporteur's visit, the Russian legislature has extended the maximum term for pretrial detention to two years.
Conditions in Detention
The special rapporteur's criticism of conditions in pretrial detention centers (SIZOs) was vivid and harsh:
The Special Rapporteur would need the poetic skills of a Dante or the artistic skills of a Bosch adequately to describe the infernal conditions he found in these cells. The senses of smell, touch, taste and sight are repulsively assailed. The conditions are cruel, inhuman and degrading; they are torturous. To the extent that suspects are confined there to facilitate the investigation by breaking their wills with a view to eliciting confessions and information, they can properly be described as being subjected to torture.184
Describing a cell at Butyrka pretrial detention center, the special rapporteur wrote:
When the door to such a general cell is opened, one is hit by a blast of hot, dark, stinking (sweat, urine, faeces) gas that passes for air. These general cells may have one filthy sink and a tap, from which water does not always emerge, near a ground-level toilet around which the inmates may drape some cloth for a minimum of privacy and to conceal the squalor of the installation. There is virtually no daylight from covered or barred windows, through which only a small amount of fresh air can penetrate. Artificial lighting is weak and not always functioning.
Due to the overcrowding in the general cells visited at both Butyrskaya and Matrosskaya Tishina No. 1, there is insufficient room for everyone to lie down, sit down or even stand up at the same time. At Matrosskaya Tishina No. 1 the Special Rapporteur saw some detainees lying on the floor underneath the lowest bunk (about 50 cm above the floor). All the detainees in these cells suffer from swollen feet and legs due to the fact that they must stand for extensive periods of time. The inmates tend to be half-clothed and are even stripped to their undershorts (at least in the summer, when the Special Rapporteur visited). Their bodies are perspiring and nothing can dry due to the humidity. Despite the existence of some medical and even hospital facilities (often without sufficient medicines), the general cells are the obverse of a hospital regime: they are disease incubators. Festering sores and boils abound; most if not all inmates suffer from skin diseases that cause pervasive itching.185
The special rapporteur recommended to the Russian government to remove from SIZOs all detainees in excess of the officially proclaimed capacity of existing institutions. He proposed that all nonviolent first-time offenders be released and that the remaining overcrowding could be eliminated by transferring the excess population on a temporary basis to indoor stadiums or other comparable public places.186 This recommendation was not carried out. Instead, the SIZO population increased from 238,000 in 1994 to about 300,000 in 1999.
He further recommended a much greater use of noncustodial measures of restraint, such as bail and release on one's own recognizance and stated that laws restricting the use of such measures of restraint should be amended and that all deprivations of freedom should require judicial sanctioning.187 Furthermore, he encouraged the Russian government to build additional pretrial detention centers to the extent that other measures of restraint would not eliminate the overcrowding, and to refurbish existing institutions.188
Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly Monitoring Procedure
On January 25, 1996, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted Opinion No. 193, granting Russia's accession for request to the Council of Europe. The opinion contains a number of accession obligations. Among others, these conditions include an obligation to adopt a new criminal procedure code that conforms to Council of Europe standards, to reform the procuracy, and to establish a professional bar association.
In a report released on June 2, 1998, the Council of Europe co-rapporteurs for the Monitoring Committee, Rudolf Bindig and Ernst Muhlemann, presented their findings on Russia's honoring of Council of Europe obligations. The report noted that "allegations of ill-treatment or even torture during police custody and pretrial detention, mainly to obtain coerced confessions, are still being made." It recommended that "the Russian authorities should intensify their efforts to protect detainees from such abuses by law-enforcement agents, and should ensure that offending guards and policemen are promptly brought to justice."189 Human Rights Watch believes that the rapporteurs failed to note the real extent of torture and used far too weak wording to characterize and condemn the practice of torture in Russia.
The rapporteurs noted that Russia had apparently made no progress toward reforming the procuracy. The report stated:
[I]n practice, this means that, in court, the equality of arms between the prosecution and the defense is not always guaranteed. Outside of court, it means that the prosecutor's office has powers which in most Council of Europe states have been transferred to other bodies, such as administrative courts, ombudsman institutions or judges.190
[I]n principle, the function of supervising the administration should clearly belong to administrative courts, and the function of defending human rights equally clearly belong to an institution independent from the prosecutor's office, such as the Human Rights Commissioner, and ombudsman or another similar institution. An institution whose primary function is to accuse persons (e.g. of a criminal offense), and thus fights, a priori, for the interests of the state, cannot at the same time ensure that the rights of the arrested person are not violated.
The rapporteurs added that since institution-building in Russia is still in progress, "[i]t might be acceptable for the current practice to continue until a more appropriate institution can take these functions over without hindering the effectiveness of the service."191
The rapporteurs did not themselves analyze the draft criminal procedure code that the Russian State Duma adopted in its first reading in June 1997. The report merely reflects the critical opinions of independent experts and nongovernmental organizations on the draft. At the request of Russia's presidential administration, the Council of Europe's Directorate for Human Rights carried out an expert assessment of the draft and presented the results to the presidential administration in September 1999.192
The report furthermore underscored the importance of achieving a change in mentality toward suspects and defendants. It stated that "the presumption of innocence does not seem to be automatically applied in the Russian Federation. Many policemen and prison officials consider a person guilty as charged as soon as he or she is remanded in custody, and the high conviction rates in Russian courts (especially when the defendant has made a confession) point to some judges and jurors sharing this view."193
Committee for the Prevention of Torture
Russia ratified the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in May 1998. Under the convention, the Committee for the Prevention of Torture can carry out surprise visits to member states and has full access to police stations, pretrial detention centers and prison colonies.
A Committee delegation carried out its first visit to Russia from November 16 to 30, 1998. The delegation visited Moscow, Nizhnii Novgorod, and Saratov. In September 1999, the Committee carried out its second visit to Russia, and traveled to Vologda, Cheliabinsk, and St. Petersburg. During both visits, Committee members and experts inspected police stations, SIZOs, colonies and other places of detention. On both occasions, the delegation met with both the relevant officials and representatives of NGOs. The information gathered by the Committee remains confidential unless the Russian government sanctions publication of the report.
As of this writing, the Committee for the Prevention of Torture had not yet announced whether it plans to visit Russia again in 2000.
Directorates for Human Rights and Legal Affairs
The Council of Europe's directorates for human rights and legal affairs provide assistance to, and training for law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, and lawyers through a trilateral program also involving the European Commission and the Russian government. So far, these joint programs have focused primarily on the judiciary and lawyers. Cooperation with the procuracy and the Ministry of Internal Affairs is still in the early stages of development.
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) stated in its Copenhagen Document of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) that "no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."194 The 1993 CSCE Implementation Meeting on the Human Dimension called for all member states to make the prevention of torture a priority area of implementation.195
Despite these words of commitment and numerous reports on torture in Russia by Russian and international NGOs and in the Russian media, Human Rights Watch is not aware of any work by the OSCE on torture in Russia. The OSCE does not have an office in Russia, but maintains a small field mission in Chechnya.
European Union and Member States
Human Rights Watch is not aware of any specific initiatives of the European Union to address the issue of torture in Russia, apart from its member state, Sweden, having raised the case of Sergei Mikhailov (see above) with former Procurator General Yuri Skuratov.
The European Union announced a decision in December 1998 to begin issuing yearly human rights reports on non-European Union countries. One of the European Union's main issues of concern, apart from the abolition of the death penalty, is torture and ratification of the United Nations torture convention.
The European Union as such does not provide any direct assistance to Russia's law enforcement agencies, the judiciary or the legal profession. Most European Union assistance is channeled through the trilateral joint programs run by the Council of Europe.
United States of America
The U.S. Department of State's Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998 stated that in Russia "there are credible reports that law enforcement personnel regularly use torture to coerce confessions from suspects and that the Government does not hold most of them accountable for these actions." The report discussed a number of torture methods used by Russian police, as well as a number of concrete incidents that were widely discussed in the Russian press. This recognition has borne no discernable impact on U.S. policy on security assistance to Russia. The U.S. government provided an estimated $10 million in training and technical assistance to Russian law enforcement in 1998. It appeared that the U.S. government had not yet made any significant progress toward implementing the Leahy amendment, a legislative provision that calls for assurances that no U.S. assistance benefits units of security forces responsible for gross violations of human rights, unless those responsible have been brought to justice. According to State Department officials, the implementation of this amendment is apparently complicated by the fact that the Russian procuracy does not keep centralized records on abuse by security forces. In a departure from practice with respect to some other countries, the U.S. government has not made assistance to law-enforcement agencies in Russia conditional on the Russian government's monitoring of abuses by security forces and providing the U.S. with the appropriate information. It also appeared that U.S. authorities gave insufficient priority to the implementation of the Leahy amendment, failing to provide to U.S. embassy employees in charge of such matters the extra resources they would need to perform such a task, given Russia's chaotic law-enforcement environment. The Moscow embassy's efforts to track abusive security officials was clearly too passive, as it appeared to merely accept the failure by Russian authorities to gather and maintain centralized, meaningful statistics on abusive officials. U.S. authorities did not, apparently, exhort their interlocutors to keep such statistics, or even make such practices a condition for future assistance.
In its technical assistance programs to law enforcement agencies, the U.S. government did not appear to make sufficient linkages to respect for human rights, and in particular to prevention of torture. The goals of these training programs do not even make a direct reference to improving respect for human rights but merely refer to the rule of law. The assistance programs have a component called "humandignity," but the U.S. government does not appear to monitor implementation of such training.