OSCE/ODIHR to send fact-finding team to Chechnya

WARSAW, 19 March 2003 - The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) will send a small team of experts on a fact-finding visit to the Russian Federation on the occasion of the referendum in Chechnya scheduled for Sunday. The experts are planning to visit Grozny, as well as polling stations set up for internally displaced persons from Chechnya in the neighbouring Republic of Ingushetia.
The decision to conduct this fact-finding visit comes after an assessment team concluded on 3 March that the deployment of a standard observation mission was not possible, but recommended to continue the assessment process.

The ODIHR looks forward to working with the authorities and civil society in the Russian Federation, and the Chechen Republic in particular, in the period following the referendum, in accordance with its mandate.

For further information, please contact:

Jens-Hagen Eschenbächer
Public Affairs Unit
OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
Aleje Ujazdowskie 19
00-557, Warsaw

Tel.: +48-603 683 122 (mobile)
+48-22 520 06 00

Fax: +48-22 520 06 05