Frank Schwabe (Germany, SOC), rapporteur on ‘the continuing need to restore human rights and the rule of law in the North Caucasus’ for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has completed his three-day fact-finding visit to Moscow and Grozny.
“I would like to thank the Russian federal and Chechen regional authorities for their co-operation with the organisation of my visit, the first by an Assembly rapporteur to the Russian Federation since the national delegation returned in June, and the first by an Assembly rapporteur to the North Caucasus since March 2010,” said Mr Schwabe. “This is an important sign of the renewal of our dialogue, and especially significant given the complexity and sensitivity of this particular report.”
“I was able to discuss all issues with national parliamentarians and a range of officials at both federal and regional levels, as well as with representatives of civil society,” he continued. “There are still many concerns about reports of serious human rights violations, such as illegal detentions, honour killings and attacks on LGBTI persons, and still disagreements on these important issues.”
“However, the authorities’ willingness to discuss such difficult topics in an atmosphere of co-operation gives me hope for further progress. This will only be achieved through dialogue based on mutual respect and the recognition that common basic standards of human rights and the rule of law must be applied throughout the territories of all Council of Europe member States. I look forward to further contacts with the authorities as the preparation of my report continues.