Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page


To the Government of the Russian Federation
A. Investigate violations of international human rights and humanitarian law

* Exhume the thirty-two unidentified bodies found in Dachny, for a thorough forensic examination with a view to identifying each individual and establishing the cause and manner of death. Make available adequate resources for effective forensic examinations.

* Undertake full and objective criminal investigations into the deaths of those found at the mass dumping ground at Dachny. Ensure that the investigating agency has the authority to interrogate all relevant persons, including military personnel.

· Investigate fully allegations of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including cases of extrajudicial executions and forced disappearance; prosecute all military and police personnel, government officials and their agents found responsible for violations.

· In compliance with E.U.-sponsored U.N. Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) resolution 2001/24 (April 20, 2001), approve requests for invitations to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Summary Executions, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the Special Rapporteur on Torture, and other relevant special rapporteurs and working groups of the commission. Ensure that these thematic mechanisms have full access to regular and ad-hoc detention facilities, sites of mass or makeshift graves, and official documents relevant to their mandates.

* In compliance with UNCHR resolution 2001/24, establish an independent national commission of inquiry that would ensure the effective investigation and prosecution of those responsible for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Its composition and operation should conform to international standards for national commissions of inquiry established in 2000 by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

* Adhere to the model protocols set out in the U.N. Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions on investigations into summary executions, on the conduct of autopsies, and on the disinterment and analysis of skeletal remains.

B. Prevent Extrajudicial Executions and Forced Disappearances

* Fully apply the 1989 U.N. Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions and the 1992 U.N. Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances.

* Take necessary measures to ensure that all Russian Federation forces-including Ministry of Defense troops, Spetsnaz, OMON, and other Ministry of Interior troops, as well as all staff working at detention centers-immediately cease carrying out forced disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial executions.

· Hold all detainees only in officially recognized places of detention. Cease the practice of secret detention even if it takes place on the premises of an officially recognized detention facility.

· Inform all detainees immediately of the grounds of arrest and any charges against them. Provide all detainees with immediate and regular access to lawyers, and allow detainees to petition for judicial review of their detention without delay, as envisaged in Russian law. Ensure procedural rights of all persons detained and/or accused of crimes are respected.

· Inform the families of detained persons of their detention, and the reason for and location of the detention. Allow families of detained persons regular contact with detainees.

· Make publicly available regularly updated figures on the number of individuals charged and arrested for security-related crimes in Chechnya, with information on their identities, the charges on which they are being held, and the places of their detention. Maintain a centralized and accurate, region-wide register of the names and places of detention and make this register readily available to detainees' family, counsel, and other legitimately interested persons.

Ensure access by the international community

· Provide unrestricted access to detainees and detention facilities by representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as the Assistance Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the experts of the Council of Europe seconded to the Office of the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Human Rights in Chechnya, and to the representatives of the UNCHR special mechanisms;

· Quickly resolve technical obstructions to the return of the OSCE Assistance Group to Grozny.

To the International Community:

· Establish an international commission of inquiry to observe, investigate, and publicly report upon human rights and humanitarian law violations of the armed conflict in Chechnya. Should the Russian authorities opt not to cooperate with or obstruct the work of the international commission, however, it should still convene hearings, hear testimony, and publish authoritative reports, thereby creating an official record.

* Governments should make compliance with UNCHR resolution 2001/24, in particular invitations to the relevant U.N. thematic mechanisms, a key element for cooperation in their bi-lateral relations with Russia. The extent of compliance with 2001/24 and other measures to address the human rights situation in Chechnya should be a priority agenda item for furthering ministerial and heads-of-state meetings with Russia.

United Nations:

· The High Commissioner for Human Rights should continue her commitment to working on Chechnya. She should continue to engage the Russian government on its implementation of resolution 2001/24, and should consider a return visit to the region that would include visits to sites of mass dumping grounds, as well as detention facilities and sites known to have served as ad-hoc detention facilities.

· The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, the U.N. Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention should continue to pursue the visits mandated by the resolution 2001/24.

Council of Europe:

* Council of Europe officials, including the experts seconded to the office of the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Human Rights in Chechnya ("Kalamanov's Office") should as a matter of priority visit body dumping sites. This should be considered a fundamental element of their work on improving human rights protections in the region.

· Ensure that the role of the Council of Europe experts seconded to the office of the special representative, as anticipated by the secretary general of the Council of Europe immediately preceding their deployment, continues to be "an important step to restore the human rights situation in the region back to normalcy and bring those responsible for human rights violations to justice."

· The Secretariat and Council of Europe member states should offer technical assistance to the Russian authorities to ensure effective autopsies and other handling of forensic evidence.

· The newly created Parliamentary Assembly-State Duma Joint Working Group on Chechnya and the Joint Working Group set up between Kalamanov's office and Russian procuracy officials should continue to monitor the process of accountability. Both bodies should as a matter of priority monitor the progress of investigations and prosecutions of the extrajudicial executions and the subsequent dumping of the bodies at Dachny, and should report regularly and publicly regarding their findings. Should the Russian government fail to take the steps outlined above to ensure an effective investigation of the site, the Council of Europe should consider terminating its participation in the aforementioned joint working groups.

· As envisioned by its 1994 Declaration on Compliance with Commitments Accepted by Member States of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe should set in motion a special investigation into Russia's compliance with its Council of Europe commitments. It should take into account the reports of the secretary general and experts, which concluded that Russia has already failed to live up to its obligations to respond adequately to the secretary general's request-pursuant to article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights-for information on how the Russian Federation is implementing its commitments under the convention in Chechnya.

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe:

* OSCE member states should request that Russia report to the OSCE Permanent Council on efforts to hold accountable those responsible for the forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions of those found at Dachny.

· As is foreseen under the existing Assistance Group mandate, the OSCE should continue to seek the immediate deployment of the Assistance Group delegation to Chechnya and Ingushetia: to gather evidence of violations ofhuman rights and humanitarian law committed in Chechnya; to report publicly on any such abuses and make recommendations to the Russian government to curb abuses and hold those responsible accountable.

· Even prior to its deployment in the region, the Assistance Group should closely monitor the progress of investigations into body dumpings, including the Dachny site. Such monitoring should take the form of regular queries to national, international, and nongovernmental entities for information regarding the progress of investigations and prosecutions and regular reports to the OSCE Permanent Council.

· In accordance with the 1994 Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security, articles 30 and 31, the OSCE must insist on Russia's obligations to investigate abuses committed by Russian Federation troops in Chechnya and prosecute those found responsible. The OSCE should insist that Russia keeps the chair-in-office and the OSCE Permanent Council informed on progress in this regard.

Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page