Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Arbour in Chechnya - II

The Telegraph, reporting on Louise Arbour's North Caucasus tour:
THE United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, said today she was deeply disturbed by accounts of torture and kidnappings in Chechnya, where the Russian military has for over a decade been engaged in the bloody repression of militant separatists.

Ms Arbour said that while she did not underestimate the task facing the Russian forces in restoring order in the war-torn republic, she was deeply worried by reports from numerous human rights organisations of abuse at their hands, Russia news agencies reported.

She made the comments during a meeting in the Chechen capital Grozny with the public prosecutor for the region, Valery Kuznetzov, the agencies said.

Ms Arbour cited accounts of civilians disappearing, interrogators using force to extract information and pressure being exerted on witnesses who reported abuse by members of the security forces.

She recommended the creation of an independent body to investigate crimes committed during the Russian military's attempts to restore Moscow rule over the breakaway republic.

But Mr Kuznetzov dismissed her suggestion.
Read the rest.
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