‘Climate of intimidation’ exists in Chechnya, fact-finding mission concludes

Hands waving into sunset (© Jacob_09/Shutterstock)
(© Jacob_09/Shutterstock)

Chechen authorities have committed torture and other appalling human rights violations, according to the conclusions of a fact-finding mission on human rights conditions in the Russian Federation’s Republic of Chechnya.

The findings were presented to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on December 20.

“The evidence clearly shows that the allegations of very serious human rights violations in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation have been found confirmed,” the report concluded. The OSCE has 57 member countries from North America, Europe and Eurasia.

The findings include arbitrary or unlawful arrests or detentions, extrajudicial killings of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons and others, and a worsening “climate of intimidation” against journalists and civil society activists.

The Russian government “appears to support the perpetrators rather than the victims” and has “not lived up to its responsibilities” to address the “grave situation” in Chechnya, according to the report.

“We call on the Russian Federation to protect the human rights of all within its borders, consistent with international law, OSCE commitments, and its own constitution,” Department of State spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement.

The fact-finding mission was prompted by the United States and 15 other OSCE countries using a rarely used diplomatic tool known as the Moscow Mechanism that is reserved for the most serious human rights violations.