Brussels, 17/12/2014

Statement by the Spokesperson on recent human rights developments in Chechnya

The surge of tensions in Chechnya, in particular relating to the recent terrorist attacks in Grozny, calls for a measured response.
We extend our condolences to the families of the victims. Those responsible for serious crimes in Chechnya, whether acts of terrorism or human rights violations, should be brought to justice.
In spite of the grief, calls from President Kadyrov for the collective punishment of families of armed militants will only exacerbate tensions. The crackdown on Human Rights activists in Chechnya, threats against Igor Kalyapin and the recent attacks against the Joint Mobile Group whose offices were set on fire, should stop.
 As a member of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, the EU expects Russia to stand by its international commitments, and ensure the safety of human rights defenders, in particular those who continue to work in the Northern Caucasus.