Commission on Human Rights resolution 2000/58 Situation in the Republic of Chechnya of the Russian Federation

The Commission on Human Rights,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Guided also by the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, in particular common article 3 thereof, and Additional Protocol II thereto, of 10 June 1977, as well as other instruments of international humanitarian law,

Recalling the provisions of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights in June 1993, in particular part I, paragraph 4, thereof,

Recalling that the Russian Federation is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and other regional human rights instruments, such as the European Convention on Human Rights,

Recalling also that the Russian Federation is a party to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and Additional Protocol II thereto, of 10 June 1977,

Recalling further the earlier statements on the subject by the Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights of 27 February 1995 and 24 April 1996,

Gravely concerned by the continued violence in the Republic of Chechnya of the Russian Federation, in particular reports indicating disproportionate and indiscriminate use of Russian military force, including attacks against civilians, which has led to a serious humanitarian situation,

Gravely concerned also at reports of attacks against civilians and serious crimes and abuses committed by Chechen fighters,

Deeply concerned at reports that gross, widespread and flagrant violations of human rights have been committed in the region, notably in the alleged "camps of filtration",

Underlining the need to respect the principle of proportionality and to observe international human rights and humanitarian law in situations of conflict and in activities undertaken against terrorism,

Deploring the high number of victims and displaced persons and the suffering inflicted on the civilian population by all parties, including the serious and systematic destruction of installations and infrastructure, contrary to international humanitarian law,

Expressing concern about the spill-over effect of the conflict to neighbouring republics of the Russian Federation,

Noting the appointment by the Government of the Russian Federation of a presidential representative for human rights in Chechnya and the establishment of his office in the Republic, which should increase transparency and action on alleged human rights violations,

Welcoming the cooperation on the part of the Russian Federation with the Council of Europe, including the visits of the Council's Commissioner for Human Rights and the signature of a memorandum of understanding between the Russian authorities and the Council and the acceptance of three representatives of that organization in the office of the presidential representative, and noting the report by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture on the Northern Caucasus,

Welcoming the fact that the Russian authorities have reached a preliminary agreement with the International Committee of the Red Cross on free access to Russian detention camps,

Noting the visit to the Russian Federation by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,

1. Welcomes the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights;

2. Calls upon all parties to the conflict to take immediate steps to halt the hostilities and the indiscriminate use of force and to begin without delay the holding of a political dialogue and effective negotiations with the aim of achieving a peaceful solution to the crisis, which fully respects the territorial integrity and the Constitution of the Russian Federation;

3. Supports the requests made by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe and the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for

Security and Co-operation in Europe for international involvement, and urges the Government of the Russian Federation to agree to the requests of those organizations to deploy staff in the region in line with their mandates;

4. Calls upon the Government of the Russian Federation to establish urgently, according to recognized international standards, a national, broad-based and independent commission of inquiry to investigate promptly alleged violations of human rights and breaches of international humanitarian law committed in the Republic of Chechnya in order to establish the truth and identify those responsible, with a view to bringing them to justice and preventing impunity;

5. Requests the Russian Federation to disseminate, and ensure that the military at all levels has a knowledge of, basic principles of human rights and international humanitarian law;

6. Requests the relevant special rapporteurs and working groups of the Commission, i.e. the Special Rapporteur on torture, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on internally displaced persons and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict, to undertake missions to the Republic of Chechnya and neighbouring republics without delay, and asks them to submit reports to the Commission and to the General Assembly as soon as possible;

7. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to facilitate their tasks;

8. Urges the Government of the Russian Federation to cooperate with the special mechanisms of the Commission and, in particular, to give favourable consideration to the requests already presented to undertake visits in the region as a matter of priority;

9. Also urges the Government of the Russian Federation to allow international humanitarian organizations, notably the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross, free and secure access to areas of internally displaced and war affected populations in the Republic of Chechnya and neighbouring republics, in accordance with international humanitarian law, and to facilitate their activities and the delivery of humanitarian aid to the victims in the region;

10. Calls upon the Government of the Russian Federation to give free and effective access in the Republic of Chechnya by international and regional organizations, in particular the International Committee of the Red Cross, to all places of detention, notably in the alleged "camps of filtration", in order to ensure treatment of all detainees in conformity with international law;

11. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to consult with the Government of the Russian Federation in order to ensure the implementation of the present resolution and to promote confidence-building measures based on respect for human rights and humanitarian law;

12. Welcomes the invitation extended by the Government of the Russian Federation to the High Commissioner for Human Rights for a return visit in two or three months;

13. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report on the implementation of the present resolution to the Commission at its fifty-seventh session and to keep the Commission and the General Assembly informed on further developments as appropriate.


64th meeting
25 April 2000

[Adopted by a roll-call vote of 25 votes to 7,
with 19 abstentions. ]

 

 

 

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