“Andres Herkel, a member of the Estonian delegation to the PACE : Situation in North Caucasus must not be forgotten”

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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a report on human rights situation in the North Caucasus at its sitting yesterday. The report says that the Russian authorities have failed to implement the recommendations of the PACE, as well as the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

Andres Herkel, a member of the Estonian delegation to the PACE, spoke at the sitting, emphasising the indirect link between the current human rights and security policy problems and the past events in Chechnya.

“Russia has not stopped because it has not been stopped. After Chechnya came South Ossetia, after South Ossetia came Crimea and Ukraine, and then Syria,” Herkel said.

“The syndrome of impunity that sprung from Chechnya in the beginning of the 2000s started to spread elsewhere in the North Caucasus. Societies were demodernised and islamicised. Torture, disappearances, violence against women and even the so-called honour killings are still taking place,” Herkel explained.

According to Herkel, the Council of Europe rapporteurs had no access to the region and the dialogue with the Russian side was cut off completely, which is why the report was compiled on the basis of information from other human rights organisations.

“We are grateful to the individuals and organisations who are still able to deal with the protection of human rights in the Russian Federation, including the North Caucasus,” Herkel said, explaining that assistance in drafting the report was received from the Human Rights Centre Memorial, the Nizhny Novgorod Committee Against Torture, the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, and the Natalia Estemirova Documentation Centre founded in Oslo.

PACE resolution on human rights in the North Caucasus

Krishan Chand

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