Rapporteur reacts to CPT public statement on torture in the North Caucasus region

Frank Schwabe (Germany, SOC), rapporteur on the continuing need to restore human rights and the rule of law in the North Caucasus region, reacted to the public statement on the Russian federation concerning the Chechen Republic and other republics of the North Caucasus region, issued by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).

“The CPT’s latest public statement reaffirms widespread, longstanding concerns about the persistent use of torture and unlawful detention – often amounting to enforced disappearance – by law enforcement agencies in the North Caucasus region. It also confirms the continuing failure of both local and federal authorities to prevent and investigate such violations,” said Mr Schwabe.

“The CPT only makes public statements in certain exceptional circumstances – only nine in its 30-year history. It has now made four in relation to Russia’s North Caucasus region, which is completely without precedent. The CPT now finds that Russia is both failing to co-operate and refusing to improve the situation, contrary to its treaty obligations.”

“The Committee of Ministers has assured the Assembly that it will take appropriate action on CPT public statements (*). It is imperative that the Committee of Ministers acts in the present case, both because of its extreme gravity and because in the absence of a Russian delegation to the Assembly, the Assembly’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights is unable to hold its habitual exchange of views on the matter with the head of the delegation,” concluded Mr Schwabe.

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(*) See Committee of Ministers’ Reply to Recommendation 2100 (2017) of the Parliamentary Assembly on 25 years of the CPT: achievements and areas for improvement.