Approving the Council of Europe’s bar on Russia’s entry, the ICJ condemns human rights violations in Chechnya

Today, the ICJ approved the decision of the Council of Europe to impose a sine die bar on Russia’s application to join the organization.

The ICJ stated that Russia’s application to join the Council of Europe is incompatible with the measures applied by its armed forces against non-combatants in Chechnya which violate both the European Convention on Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions.

The ICJ is concerned by reports of a growing number of international observers present in the region of Grozny, that systematic torture and beatings, as well as mock executions of Chechen prisoners, including civilians, are being carried-out by the Russian forces in Chechnya. Similarly, some reports seem to indicate that a number of dead bodies of Russian soldiers also showed signs of torture. Until these reports are verified, Russia’s membership application to the Council of Europe should be frozen.

The ICJ has already condemned the outrageous massive bombing of civilian targets in and around Grozny which has resulted in the death of thousands of non-combatants. The ICJ condemns the disproportionate use of force exerted on a daily basis by the Russian army since the beginning of the hostilities seven weeks ago.

The ICJ believes that the acceptance of Russia as a member State of the Council of Europe without proper consideration of the behaviour of its agents in Chechnya would result in the dampening of the European Convention on Human Rights and damaging of the credibility of the Council of Europe, an organization reputed for its promotion of the Rule of Law.

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