European nations have formally submitted a resolution to the top U.N. human rights forum criticizing Russia's actions in Chechnya.
The resolution was submitted by the European Union and seven other European states. It recognizes Russia's right to self-defense and its responsibility to protect its people from terrorist attacks. But it says Moscow's anti-terrorism campaign must be conducted according to the rule of law.
The resolution urges Russia to stop alleged abuses by its soldiers and police in Chechnya. It calls for a full and prompt investigation into rights violations in the breakaway republic.
Among the abuses mentioned are forced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and executions, torture, and harassment during sweep operations.
While Russian officials admit that abuses have taken place in Chechnya, they deny the extent of the violations. They also argue that Chechen separatists are supported by a global terrorist network, thus necessitating a strong crackdown.
The European sponsors of the resolution are calling for Russia's censure. The 53-nation U.N. Human Rights Commission is expected to vote on the resolution next week.