Russia

OMCT demands the creation of an international tribunal for the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Chechnya

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Since the intervention of Russian troops in Chechnya, the World Organisation Against Torture, the largest collation of non-governmental organisations fighting against torture, has been informed daily of cases of torture, massacres and violence perpetrated in Chechnya, principally by the Russian intervention troops.
The fall of the capital, Grozny, far from ending these atrocities, has been accompanied by a surge in particularly barbaric violence against the civilian population and the Chechen soldier prisoners. We can not ignore that the filtration camps are indeed concentration camps where Russian soldiers are committing the worst atrocities, in all impunity, against their prisoners.

The scope of these savage acts committed has even provoked a reaction of disgust within the Russian army itself amongst the troops who should be accustomed to particularly harsh conditions of war.

Curiously, the Western powers and European institutions, in charge of protecting Human Rights in this part of the world, are demonstrating an incomprehensible passivity in comparison to other recent political situations where these same authorities and European governments adopted a much more clear-cut position.

In the absence of an international penal court providing the surviving victims, or families of those summarily executed, who have died under torture or victims of other war crimes or crimes against humanity, with an authority to whom they may address themselves, the OMCT demands that an ad hoc international penal tribunal be set up. This tribunal should have the competence to judge the crimes against humanity and war crimes which are denounced daily, providing justice to the
victims and sanctioning the perpetrators.

Only if the perpetrators realise that they are accountable for their acts, is there a chance that they will change their attitude.

However, if the international authorities continue to fail to react, thereby providing them with impunity, their determination to
destroy any attempt by the Chechen population to safeguard their integrity is reinforced and becomes more extreme.

We call on all non-governmental organisations to send messages demanding the creation of an international penal tribunal ad hoc to:

(1) the respective authorities in their countries;

(2) European Parliament;

(3) Secretary General of the United Nations;

and to undertake press campaigns directed at public opinion in order to rapidly end all crimes committed daily in this part of the world.

Geneva, 17th February 2000

Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT)
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
Organizacion Mundial Contra la Tortura (OMCT)
8 rue du Vieux-Billard
Case postale 21
CH-1211 Geneve 8
Suisse/Switzerland
Tel. : 0041 22 809 49 39
Fax : 0041 22 809 43 29
E-mail : omct@omct.org
http://www.omct.org