Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 16

On May 28, a leading Russian human rights organization, Memorial, noted that, at its sessions held in Geneva on 13, 14 and 16 May, the UN Committee against Torture had adopted recommendations concerning the war in Chechnya which had been put forward by Memorial and other Russian human rights organizations: “Despite the refusal,” Memorial wrote, “of the 59th session of the UN Commission for Human Rights (by a vote of 16 to 15!) to adopt a resolution devoted to the situation in the Chechen Republic, an official structure of the UN has nonetheless adopted ‘Conclusions and Recommendations’ touching upon many aspects of the situation of human rights in the North Caucasus.” Specifically, the UN Committee against Torture has expressed its strong concern that “there continue to arrive numerous reports [from Chechnya about the actions of the Russian forces] concerning coarse violations of human rights and the norms of the Convention [against torture], including arbitrary arrests, the use of torture and cruel treatment…Also unusually widespread are reports concerning harsh sexual violence [rape]” (, May 28).