Human Rights Watch Demands Russia Be Held to Account for Crimes in Chechnya

Human Rights Watch has called on the UN Commission for Human Rights not to close its eyes to the brutality that has been going on in Chechnya for the past three and a half years, and to hold Russia to account.

In a memorandum prepared for the UN commission, Human Rights Watch refers to 44 cases of disappearances of people that its has documented in Chechnya. 26 of the people disappeared between the end of December 2002 and the end of February 2003, which is around three disappearances per week. All the disappearances followed arrests by federal forces.

The document also highlights 5 cases of extra-judicial killings and 12 attempted killings - all since the end of December last year. 'The results of our investigations and official reports on crime in Chechnya contradict statements by the Russian authorities on the normalization of the situation in the region,' according to Human Rights Watch.

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