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Estonian delegates participated actively in the debate on the report “Legal remedies for human rights violations in the North-Caucasus Region” by Dick Marty (Switzerland), adopted at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe today. Leader of the Estonian delegation Andres Herkel spoke on behalf of the European People’s Party faction and Chairperson of PACE Committee on the Environment Aleksei Lotman had been authorised to speak on behalf of the European Left Group.

Both speakers gave a high assessment to the report but they pointed out that the situation of the North Caucasus had been neglected for too long in recent years and such reports should be continued. Herkel asked what the essence of the peace of the President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov is if the society as a whole is on a downward spiral and islamisation and archaisation are taking place, manifested for example by the return of blood feud. Andres Herkel drew attention to increasingly frequent cases of violent death and continuing disappearances of people in the region. He referred to the fact that the forecast the previous rapporteur Rudolf Bindig had made four years earlier that the climate of impunity would spread from Checnya to other regions of the North Caucasus had proved to be true. Herkel observed with regret that the international community lacked a clear plan and strategy to address the Russian leadership with this problem. “It is not an easy issue but silence is clearly the worst solution,” stated Herkel.
 
Dick Marty’s report points to more than 150 judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in which the Russian Federation has been found guilty. Unfortunately, nothing has been done to improve local investigation and to implement the European Court’s judgments, except for compensations.
 
In Lotman’s opinion, the content of the report is tragic. Unlawfulness, terror and the rule of impunity are spreading in the North Caucasus. He referred to Kadyrov’s words that “a woman should be considered as property owned by a man” and he emphasised that women are the most vulnerable social group.
 
Mailis Reps also used the opportunity to speak granted to the Estonian delegation.
 
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
 
 
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