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RUSSIA versus Chechnya
Cameron Sawyer comments on the expulsion from Chechnya of the human rights representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe: "To be more precise, the OSCE mandate in Chechnya, granted by the Russian government some years ago, expired on December 31, 2002 and was not renewed. This is very regrettable, as the OSCE was one of the most effective independent groups in Chechnya.
For the case AGAINST Russia with regard to Chechnya and with regard to human rights in general, with facts (!), see the Human Rights Watch report at http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/europe11.html. This is the same group which accuses the U.S. of serious human rights abuses, including torture of Al Queda suspects, so one must take it with a grain of salt. But. although certain things are exaggerated, at least the report is supported by facts and logical argument, unlike the wild accusations of certain French philosophers, and most of the facts are true.
WAISers will make their own conclusions. Undoubtedly, the methods used by the Russian military in Chechnya are unnecessarily brutal, and international criticism is warranted. But that is very far from saying that genocide (!) is going on, and also does not mean that Chechnya ought to be independent, which is a different question".
Ronald Hilton - 1/23/03