Russia: Torture report welcomed, openness on Chechnya needed

The report, one of several on Russia until recently blocked by Russia itself, has been produced by the Council of Europe's European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). Russia is the last CPT-investigated country in Europe to allow the organisation to go ahead with publication of a report.

Amnesty International, which only last week during a state visit to the UK by the Russian president reiterated its longstanding call for Russia to cooperate with international bodies and investigate serious human rights violations, remains concerned however that Russia is unwilling to effectively combat ongoing human rights abuses.

Amnesty International UK Russia Campaign Manager Becky Hess said:

'We welcome this decision as a small sign that Russia is beginning to realise that torture and other serious human rights violations cannot be ignored.

'The key thing now, however, is whether today's move signals the beginning of a greater willingness from the Russian authorities to seriously address human rights violations and to work cooperatively with international agencies to combat them.

'Russia should allow the publication of all remaining torture reports as well as open its door to international bodies wishing to visit the Chechen Republic.'

Background

The CPT, an independent and impartial expert body established by the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, a treaty which the Russian Federation ratified in 1998, has made 11 visits to different Russian regions. Six of these visits, including the last (23-29 May 2003), have been to the Chechen Republic. The CPT, established by the Convention, is comprised of independent and impartial experts, whose visits and recommendations aim to protect detainees from torture, cruel and inhuman treatment. The reports of CPT visits and recommendations are confidential: they can be published only with the consent of the government in question.

Related information

The Russia Federation: Denial of Justice - report, 29 October 2002: http://www.amnesty.org/russia/pdfs/russia_report.pdf

More about our campaign for justice for all in Russia: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=22 /p>

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