Exiles call for UN tribunal on Chechnya crimes

18th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Exiled Chechen independence activists called Saturday on the United Nations to create an international tribunal to investigate crimes committed in the restive Russian Caucasus region.

At a congress held outside the Polish capital Warsaw they called for an international probe "into mass murders, mass graves and missing persons" in Chechnya, according to a copy of the resolution published by the PAP news agency.

The 250 activists who attended the congress also called for the European Union to organise an international conference to discuss the situation in Chechnya, which has fought two devastating, full-blown wars with Moscow since 1994.

The region is now ruled by pro-Moscow Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, but still beset by a radical Islamist-fuelled insurgency.

Russia had strongly protested the holding of the congress, and had sought to get former independence leader Akhmed Zakayev, who turned up for the event, extradited back to Russia.

Zakayev surrendered to Polish prosecutors on Friday but was later released by a judge who ruled that Poland was bound to recognise the political refugee status granted him by fellow EU member Britain.

© 2010 AFP

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