Human Rights First Applauds Creation of Fact Finding Mission into Abuses of LGBTQ Persons, Human Rights Workers in Chechnya
Human Rights First welcomes the actions of 16 countries, including the United States, to implement the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) so-called “Moscow Mechanism” to investigate human rights abuses in Chechnya. The rare diplomatic action, reserved for serious human rights concerns within an OSCE participating state, will create a fact-finding team to investigate reports of human rights violations and abuses. The investigation will explore reported government-sanctioned killings, disappearances, beatings, and other threats to the LGBTQ community, journalists, human rights defenders, and lawyers.
“The Kremlin has completely ignored these egregious violations for years, and has failed to investigate or hold accountable those responsible. Today the international community took appropriate action in response to this lack of accountability,” said Melissa Hooper, Director of Human Rights and Civil Society at Human Rights First.
The Moscow Mechanism is named for the 1991 Moscow conference at which all members of the OSCE agreed to its terms.
Human Rights First calls on the Russian government to comply fully with the OSCE investigation, to allow the fact-finding team access to all relevant documents, and to permit members of the team to interview witnesses and other relevant individuals in Chechnya without surveillance or reprisal.