OSCE to invoke rare diplomatic mechanism to study human rights in Chechnya

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WASHINGTON, November 2. /TASS/. The United States has joined a coalition of 16 countries invoking an OSCE diplomatic action known as Moscow Mechanism to study human rights issues in Russia’s North Caucasus Republic of Chechnya, Department of State Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said during a regular press briefing.

“Today in Vienna, at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United States joined a coalition of 16 countries invoking the Moscow Mechanism, a rare diplomatic action reserved for serious human rights concerns. This action triggers a formal international fact-finding mission to look into reports of impunity for human rights violations and abuses in the Russian Federation’s Republic of Chechnya,” Palladino said.

“The United States and other OSCE countries repeatedly have pressed the Russian Federation to investigate disturbing reports of extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detentions, and other violations and abuses in Chechnya,” the US official went on. “These violations and abuses targeted members of the LGBTI community, members of human rights, nongovernmental organizations, and those the Chechen regime labeled, quote-unquote, ‘terrorists.’”

“We and likeminded countries have demanded that Moscow hold accountable those responsible for such violations and abuses. Russia has failed to provide a substantive response to repeated expressions of international concern and calls for accountability,” he added. “Therefore, with these actions at the OSCE, the administration will continue to work with our European partners to expose Russia’s human rights violations and abuses.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier said that no facts to confirm claims of LGBT rights violations in Chechnya have been discovered so far. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in his turn, said Russian authorities will offer a tough reaction if those claims are confirmed.

Besides, Moscow has said on several occasions that no facts to substantiate media reports about extrajudicial killings in the region have been discovered so far.

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