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Russia: Human Rights

Volume 688: debated on Thursday 11 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they last made representations to the Government of Russia about the alleged use of torture, arbitrary killings and disappearances in the Chechen Republic; what was the result of those representations; and whether they will make representations to the Government of Russia on the admission of the United Nations special rapporteur for torture, under conditions fully acceptable to him. [HL1021]

On 8 November 2006 the fourth round of EU-Russia human rights consultations took place in Brussels. The EU delegation expressed continuing concerns about reports of forced disappearances in the North Caucasus and the alleged torture of those detained in connection with terrorism-related incidents, and asked for information on several individual cases. The Russian delegation acknowledged that there continued to be cases of unacceptable treatment in detention centres, stated that it was working to improve the conditions of pre-trial detention facilities and that it referred all reported cases of abuse and abduction to the criminal courts for prosecution. Russian officials committed to providing information on the status of the named individuals.

The EU stressed the importance of the work of Manfred Nowak, the United Nations special rapporteur for torture. It urged the Russian authorities to extend full co-operation to him and asked for information regarding a new date for his visit, which it emphasised should take place as soon as possible.

The Government remain deeply concerned about continuing reports of human rights violations in Chechnya. We have emphasised to the Russian authorities that security measures can be effective only when they fully respect human rights. Bilaterally, and with EU partners, we will continue to make regular representations to the Russian authorities about our human rights concerns in Russia.