Counter terrorism: Russian practice

Reports of human rights organisations hearings of the International Commission of Jurists, 29-30 January 2007. This report was written and published by the human rights organisation Memorial in Moscow.

“It is generally accepted that the current trend towards the significant and often unjustified curtailment of human rights under the pretext of fighting terrorism followed from the attacks of September 11, 2001. However, Russia proved to be ahead of her time in this process—counterterrorist operations» began here a full two years earlier. There are few who remember today that Anti-terrorism Law was already needed in August 1999, shortly after Shamil Basaev’s invasion of Dagestan (that is, still before the attacks on residential properties in Russian cities). This allowed the government to use the armed forces and restrict citizens’ rights without the approval of parliament, still at that point an independent body.
Russia has now gone through eight years of «counterterrorism», including six on a global scale, and the time has come to evaluate the results. They are far from comforting: terrorism has not been vanquished. And indeed, a detailed examination of the techniques of combating
terrorism reminds us that «counterterrorism» was in fact used as a pretext for significant restrictions and violations of human rights in many countries long before September 11.

A set of hearings on January 29-30, 2007, was organized in Moscow by the International Commission of Jurists to bring the results of Russian «counterterrorism» to light. At these hearings victims both of terrorist attacks and «counterterrorist operations», witnesses and
experts provided testimony, and a number of Russian human rights organizations presented their own reports.

It appears the «Second Chechen War» is already history, but «counterterrorist operations» continue throughout the Northern Caucasus.”…

In this brochure we present two small reports. One addresses the «counterterrorist operation» in the Northern Caucasus—the time has come to evaluate the results and draw conclusions. The second gives an analysis of Russian «antiterrorist» legislation.”

Russia-counter terrorism practice-conference report-2007-eng (full text in English, PDF)

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