European politicians want to set up the Tribunal for Chechnya
While Russian federal and regional authorities are busy with referendum preparations in Chechnya, several European politicians do their best to exacerbate the tense situation with human rights in the Chechen republic of the Russian Federation. It goes without saying that this can not but show negative influence on Russia’s international image.
Lord Judd failed with his attempt to impede the coming referendum on the Chechen Constitution. At present moment the European community actively considers the issue pertaining to the establishment of the so-called tribunal for Chechnya. The Council of Europe insists on the establishment of the International Tribunal for investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Chechen republic. This was particularly said by German politician Rudolf Bindig – the head of the Bundestag delegation in the Council. The delegation consists of 18 deputies. According to the opinion of the German politician, the Tribunal for Chechnya is supposed to be organized in the likeness of the Tribunal for former Yugoslavia in the Hague.
German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau reported about Bindig’s speech at the session of PACE’s legal committee. It was particularly mentioned in the resolution that OSCE and Council of Europe’s political initiatives did not result in an improvement of the situation in the Caucasus. Moscow is reproached of the fact that the Western community is not informed about the use of military force, that foreign journalists and Council of Europe envoys are deprived of an opportunity to exert any serious influence on the situation with human rights in Chechnya, and so on and so forth.
As the newspaper wrote, the legal persecution of certain violations of human rights plays the main role for the establishment of peace in the Caucasus, and for settling the conflict in a political way. This is the point of view of the European parliament. Ivan Rybkin, former secretary of the Russian Security Council, said in his interview to Echo of Moscow radio station that if the idea of the tribunal became real, the tribunal would start dealing with the six cases of the Strasbourg Human Rights Court first.
Anyway, Rudolf Bindig’s suggestion is nothing but a provocation against the background of the recent hostage crisis in Moscow, the explosion of the governmental building in Chechen capital Grozny, public statements from Chechen guerrilla Shamil Basayev, and the like. A suggestion like that is an open political hypocrisy. The financial factor is not excluded either. A lot of so-called Muslim charitable organizations have appeared lately, and they have been rather active. Recent scandals with Microsoft and Compaq corporations can be a good example of that (they were accused of funding Chechen gunmen).
It would be fine for the Russian Foreign Ministry to take a more active position on the matter and to give an adequate response. It would look rather reasonable against the background of the so-called strategic axis of allies – Paris-Berlin-Moscow vs. USA-Great Britain.
Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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