040100 [The Guardian] Chechnya still awaits human rights monitors
- Chechnya still awaits human rights monitors
Saturday April 1, 2000
A month after the Kremlin bowed to
western pressure to let international human
rights experts work in Chechnya, the
officials have yet to be named at the
Council of Europe in Strasbourg and there
is little sign of their arriving in the
The UN human rights commissioner, Mary
Robinson, arrived in Moscow yesterday on
her way to a long-delayed visit to Chechnya
to examine reports of atrocities and human
rights abuses by Russian troops.
But the Kremlin's new special
representative for human rights in
Chechnya, Vladimir Kalamanov, said he
could not understand why the council had
not yet sent two experts to work in his
office in Chechnya.
"It's very surprising. I don't know what
they're waiting for," he said.
"There's no problem at this end."
After weeks of squabbling about £200,000
funding for the international involvement, it
was only on Thursday that the council's
committee of ministers approved the
"I can't give a time frame," said Dmitry
Marchenkov, its spokesman. "Nothing's
been announced officially."
"These people could have been here weeks
ago," said a senior western diplomat
familiar with the negotiations. "But
European bureaucracy can be as slow as in