Russia has supported, for the first time, a condemnation of human rights abuses in the North Caucasus region by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.
Its report noted disappearances and intimidation in the region’s republics, and said the authorities continue to nurture a climate of fear.
The Strasbourg-based human rights defence body with 47 member states unanimously approved a resolution based on the report by Swiss liberal Dick Marty.
Marty said: “Terrorism must be fought by the rule of law. Let’s not forget that injustice is the first ally of terrorism, so it is injustice we must fight.”
The Assembly urged Russia to fight terrorism by respecting fundamental rights.
The vice-head of the Russian delegation said the report’s conclusions were not completely positive for Russia, not agreeable, but it was objective.
Following repeated wars in which Russian and pro-Russian forces battled Chechen separatists, the parliamentarians pointed out that the European Court of Human Rights had been compelled to assume a protector role for many victims in the region, finding repeated rights violations which showed a climate of impunity.
They said this and the passiveness of the authorities undermined the population’s trust in the security forces and fed the spiral of violence.