Parliamentary question by Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Council and answer

Parliamentary questions
by Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Council
(03 March 2003)

Subject: Abduction of civilians in Grozny (Chechnya)

According to the Society for Russian-Chechen Friendship, the following abductions of Chechen civilians have been reported since January 2003: in Grozny and suburbs: on 29 December 2002: Ramzan Gamarigov (35) (resident at 4, Lomonosov Street); on 3 January 2003: Mr Mashaev and three of his sons (resident in Yablochnaya Street) and Mr Yunus Alimukaev; on 4 January 2003: Mr Ismail Makhmudov (26) (resident at 33, Gudermeskaya Street); on 14 January 2003: Mrs Angela Shakhmurzaeva (31), Mr Hassan Ustarkhanov (28), Mr Aslan Baisultanov and Mr Aslan Musaev (25) (all resident at 23, Rosa Luxemburg Street); on 3 February 2003: Mr Hanpasha Bukhaev (30) (resident in Noviye Aldy, Grozny); in Urus-Martan: on 29 January 2003: Mrs Seda Tsagaraeva; in Achkhoi-Martan and district: on 15 January 2003: Mr Yaragi Ismailov (45), Mr Khizri Ismailov (40), Mr Aslan Ismailov (22), Mr Aslambek Ismailov (20) and Mr Yusup Daidaev (50) (all resident at 22, Orekhovaya Street); on 28 January 2003: Mr Taus Murtasov (30) (resident in the village of Orekhovo near Achkhoi-Martan); in Vedeno and district: on 27 January 2003: Mr Shamil Khabusiev (45) (resident in the village of Neftyanka); in Shali and district: on 17 January 2003: Islam Ibragimov (21) (resident in Shali) and Apti Saidulaev (25) (resident in Shali); on 4 February 2003: Mr Idris A. Dakhaev (28) (resident in Serzhen-Yurt).

Is the Council aware of these recent abductions of civilians? Is the Council making any attempt to monitor the number of people abducted, as well as the number of people executed after being abducted? In light of the repeated war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian forces in Chechnya, does the Council intend to undertake any political and judicial initiatives in the competent international bodies such as the Council of Europe and the UN Commission on Human Rights?

(29 September 2003)

The Council has received no detailed information about the cases of civilian abductions mentioned in the question. The Council naturally follows closely the situation in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation. It does not, however, have the means to carry out detailed monitoring on the ground. For such information, the Council looks to the Council of Europe.

The Council raises the question of human rights abuses and the rule of law in the Chechen Republic on all possible occasions when meeting the Russian authorities. EU concerns were raised at the Cooperation Council with Russia on 15 April 2003, and were on the EU's agenda for the St Petersburg Summit on 31 May.

Moreover, the EU will continue to raise its concerns in the framework of international organisations such as the OSCE and the UN. In this connection, the EU tabled a resolution at the UN Commission on Human Rights on 7 April 2003, underlining the importance of full respect for human rights and condemning the reported ongoing violations of international human rights law in the Chechen Republic, namely the forced disappearances and arbitrary detentions and executions. The Council would point out that this resolution was not however adopted by the UN Commission on Human Rights.