Chechnya : the cosmetic recommendations of the European Parliament
12 April 2002
Paris - On April 10th, the European Parliament addressed the serious situation in Chechnya. Whilst it is positive that the European Parliament is debating the dramatic situation of the Chechen population, the resolution adopted does not correspond to the gravity of the facts that have been presented. Recent reports published by NGOs (including the MSF report mentioned in the resolution) and delivered to the European Parliament unanimously denounce the grave, intentional violence committed by the Russian forces against civilians : repeated acts of torture, rape, arbitrary arrests, cleansing operations and frequent attacks (including attacks on hospitals). However, the resolution voted today will do nothing to improve the situation. The resolution does not call for any concrete measures such as demanding that an international and independent observatory mission be sent to Russia, or that European States call upon the European court for Human rights to take a stand against Russia. The European Parliament has not even asked the UN Commission for Human Rights, which is debating until the end of April, to adopt a resolution on Chechnya. For instance, one recommendation consists of recalling a resolution voted in 2000 by the European Parliament which calling for 'an ad hoc delegation to visit the North Caucasus'(art. 8 of the present resolution). This recommendation was not put into effect: an international and independent mission has never set foot in Chechnya. This new resolution also calls for the creation of a work group, along with its Russian colleagues, which would observe and investigate the situation in Chechnya. Is this not yet another pious recommendation? The text adopted on April 10 by the European Parliament highlights the disparity between the reality in Chechnya and the weak declarations of the European Parliament on the situation. This resolution Chechnya shows, once again, the lack of political will in Europe to impose the respect of civilian rights in Chechnya.