The Committee Against Torture receives a Human Rights Prize in Strasbourg

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23 June 2011

Today, on June 23, 2011 chairman of the Interregional Committee Against Torture Igor Kalyapin received an International Human Rights Prize in Strasbourg in the Council of Europe Headquarters.

As we have reported earlier, this year INGO “Committee Against Torture” was awarded the PACE Human Rights Prize.

This is an annual prize given to human rights organizations and activists for outstanding contributions in the sphere of human rights protection in Europe. In the opinion of the PACE, the most prominent contribution was the activity of human rights activists working in the Joint Mobile Group of human rights defenders in Chechnya.

The Joint Mobile Group of Russian human rights NGOs (JMG) permanently present in the territory of the Chechnya was created in November 2009 on the initiative of the Committee Against Torture for the purpose of conducting independent public investigations into tortures and enforced disappearances allegedly committed by law enforcers and servicemen.  The JMG deals with the most high-profile and dangerous cases, and with regard to the current sociopolitical background in the Republic working with such cases poses a serious threat to the lives of human rights defenders.    

We would like to emphasize that from the moment the JMG was created representatives of the following Russian human rights NGOs participated in its activities alongside ICAT staff: INGO “Mothers in support of detainees, indictees and convicts” (Krasnodar), RNGO “Man and Law” (Yoshkar-Ola), Public Verdict Foundation (Moscow), Moscow Helsinki Group (Moscow), Komi Memorial Human rights Commission (Syktyvkar),  Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (Helsinki), TsentrRus Information and Analysis Human Rights Agency (Orel).

“It’s a great honour for me to receive this prize given to our organization for coordinating the work of the Joint Mobile Group in Chechnya. No doubt, this means appreciation and high appraisal for everyone who participated in our activities.”- said Igor Kalyapin during the ceremony.