13. Nov. 2007

Council of Europe (COE)

Truth Commission for the Chechen Republic could bring reconciliation to society, says PACE Political Affairs Committee

Strasbourg, 13.11.2007 - «Truth commissions may be an effective mechanism for addressing past human rights violations, thus bringing reconciliation to a society emerging from a difficult past. In the case of the Chechen Republic, a Truth Commission could be one way of meeting the need to deal with the legacy of the conflict in this region, to reconstitute the history of abuses committed, and of violence and injustices suffered, by all sides involved,» according to a report by Andreas Gross (Switzerland, SOC), adopted today in Paris by the Political Affairs Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE).

«Such a Truth Commission further needs to provide recognition and redress to victims and to establish institutional and personal responsibilities, so as to ensure accountability of perpetrators and prevent further abuses. It should not grant amnesties for crimes which fall under international law,» the committee said.

A decision on the appropriateness of establishing a Truth Commission belongs to the authorities of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, parliamentarians concluded.

As a first step, the Political Affairs Committee should provide the authorities and civil society with information on international best practice as regards Truth Commissions, and open a dialogue with both in order to evaluate the usefulness of such a mechanism for achieving reconciliation and integration in Chechen society, Mr Gross said.

The report is due to be discussed by PACE at the beginning of 2008.

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