STRASBOURG, January 24 (RIA Novosti) – Council of Europe (CE) Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland on Thursday praised Russia’s decision to request publication of a report into torture, which makes a critical assessment of treatment of detained people in Russia’s North Caucasus region.
“I welcome the decision of the Russian Government to request the publication of this report as a sign of openness which I trust will continue in the future,” Jagland said.
In its report published on Thursday, the CE Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) expressed concern about the treatment of people held by law enforcement agencies in the North Caucasus, and cast doubt on the effectiveness of the action the investigative authorities are taking to prevent it.
The CPT recommended measures to combat torture and other forms of ill treatment, in particular, to “ensure better accountability of law enforcement agencies, reinforce fundamental safeguards against ill treatment and improve conditions of detention in law enforcement and pre-trial establishments.”
The Russian authorities in response provided information on steps to implement the CPT’s recommendations, including investigation into specific cases of possible ill treatment raised by the CPT, as well as improvements to detention conditions.
The CPT said Russia, until recently, had been “an exception to the well-established trend towards States lifting the veil of confidentiality and publishing CPT visit reports.”
CPT President Latif Huseynov said he is “confident” Russia’s move is “the beginning of a new policy of the Russian Federation which will increase the impact of the Committee’s work in Russia, to everyone’s benefit.”