The international community should take immediate action to address major human rights abuses continuing in Chechnya and neighboring Ingushetia, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture and Memorial Human Rights Center said in a joint statement released in Moscow today.
Human rights groups have recently documented a number of “disappearances,” summary executions, and attacks against civilians in both Chechnya and Ingushetia. The joint statement by the leading rights monitors in the Russian Federation marks the deadline for a draft resolution on Chechnya to be tabled at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.
“The climate of abuse and impunity in Chechnya is now spilling over into Ingushetia and threatening stability there too,” said Anna Neistat, Moscow director for Human Rights Watch, “Russia’s assurances of “normalization” in the region should no longer obscure the vision of the international community. A resolution on Chechnya and Ingushetia will send the message that these continuing abuses must stop.”
In the last three months federal troops, security services, and pro-Moscow Chechen forces under the command of Akhmad Kadyrov, as well as Chechen rebels, have committed numerous human rights abuses, such as arbitrary detentions, torture, forced disappearances and summary executions in various parts of Chechnya. Similar violations are on the increase in Ingushetia. As in Chechnya, the perpetrators of these abuses go unpunished.
Despite continuing violence in Chechnya, the federal and Chechen authorities continue closing tent camps for the internally displaced persons in Ingushetia and pressuring them to return to Chechnya. Accommodation and humanitarian assistance provided to Ingushetia returnees in Chechnya does not meet international standards.
“The government is using a mixed policy of threats and incentives to get the displaced persons to return, with blatant disregard for their well-founded fears about security,” said Neistat.
The joint statement contains a summary of the latest research findings from Human Rights Watch and other organizations documenting human rights abuses in Chechnya and Ingushetia.