No end to gross human rights violations in Russia's North Caucasus.
Amnesty International has released a report claiming that gross human rights violations are continuing in Chechnya and Ingushetia with the Russian authorities implicated in the torture, abduction and secret detention of civilians. Amnesty International says Russia's "war on terror" is being used as an excuse for systematic human rights abuses.
In a briefing paper, Amnesty International said it had detected a new trend in the human rights abuses in the North Caucasus. People are reportedly being arbitrarily detained and held in incommunicado detention, where they are subjected to torture and ill-treatment, in order to force them to confess to crimes that they have not committed. Once they have signed a “confession” they are reportedly transferred to another detention facility where they have access to a lawyer of their choice and relatives; but the confession seems to be enough “evidence” to secure their conviction.
Amnesty International urged the European Union to pressure Russia to end these violations. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair representing the EU Presidency at next week's EU-Russia summit in London has an opportunity to make it clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the torture and “disappearance” of men and women is inexcusable and must stop.