Strasbourg, 10.06.2002 - The Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) recently completed its fifth visit to the Chechen Republic since the beginning of the current conflict. During several days the CPT's delegation, which included two medical doctors, examined the situation of detention facilities in Grozny, Kurchaloy and Urus-Martan and spoke in private with people held there. For the first time, the delegation visited the Operative and Search Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Grozny (commonly known as the "RUBOP").
An important focal point of the visit was the treatment of persons detained during special operations by federal forces. At a meeting with Lieutenant General V. MOLTENSKOY, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Group of Armed Forces in the North Caucasian region, the CPT's delegation explored the implementation of Order No. 80, which introduced new measures aimed at combating human rights violations during such operations. Further, the delegation visited the village of Alkhan-Kala, which was the scene of two special operations in April this year, and spoke with its mayor, the Council of Elders and local inhabitants.
The problem of human rights violations and disappearances was also discussed with prosecutors, military commanders and members of the local administrations in Argun, Kurchaloy and Urus-Martan.
The information gathered by the CPT during its visit to the Chechen Republic and its consultations with the Russian authorities are confidential, in accordance with Article 11 of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. In this context the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Walter Schwimmer, expressed his hope that the Russian Federation will agree to make the CPT's findings available to the public. "Recently more and more member States of the Council have shown their willingness to make the reports of the Anti-Torture Committee public. This is a positive sign for more transparency in this field and a important support for the work of the Anti-Torture Committee. I would be happy if Russia could join these efforts, in order to contribute to the prevention of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment throughout our continent."