Statement issued on the appointment of a Russian Presidential Human Rights Representative for Chechnya

Press Release
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

VIENNA, 28 February 2000 -- The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Foreign Minister of Austria Benita Ferrero-Waldner, welcomes the announcement on 17 February 2000 that acting Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed a Presidential Representative for Human Rights in Chechnya, Vladimir Kalamanov.

"This appointment has the potential to do much to address the serious concerns of the international community about the situation of human rights in Chechnya," said Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

In a letter to acting President Putin, Mrs Ferrero-Waldner offered a number of detailed recommendations on how the possibilities of the Representative's office might best be used, including by giving him a wide-ranging mandate to investigate all allegations of human rights and humanitarian law violations.

The Chairperson-in-Office expressed her hope to acting President Putin that the Presidential Representative's mandate will include co-operation with other organizations active in this field. In this context, the Chairperson-in-Office welcomes the efforts undertaken by the Presidential Representative and the Council of Europe.

The Chairperson-in-Office has also asked the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights to offer close co-operation with Mr Kalamanov.

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