UN experts condemn terrorist attacks in Dagestan

Эксперты ООН осудили теракты в Дагестане

UN experts expressed condolences to the families of those killed in the terrorist attacks in Dagestan. UN experts condemn terrorist attacks in Dagestan Human rights

UN experts on Thursday condemned the June 23 terrorist attacks in Derbent and Makhachkala, the two largest cities in the Republic of Dagestan. The attacks killed at least 21 people and injured another 46.

A simultaneous attack by gunmen on two synagogues, two Orthodox churches and a police post resulted in the deaths of 16 police officers and at least five civilians, including an Orthodox priest.

“Today, just three months after the terrorist attack in Moscow, which claimed the lives of 145 people, we express our deepest condolences and solidarity to the victims and their families in connection with yet another terrorist attack in Russia. Such acts of violence undermine human rights, including the right to life and the right to security of person. Attacks on religious sites of Christians and Jews undermine the right to freedom of religion or belief and instill fear in Russians of further attacks,” said experts Mariana Katsarova, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Russian Federation and Ben Saul, Special Rapporteur on the Protection of human rights in the fight against terrorism.

Such acts of violence nullify human rights, including the right to life and the right to personal security

The “Islamic State in Khorasan Province,” which claimed responsibility for the Moscow terrorist attack in March 2024, welcomed the terrorist attacks in Dagestan, saying that they carried out by “brothers from the Caucasus, who once again proved that they remain a real force.” However, no one has officially declared their involvement in the terrorist attacks in Dagestan.

At least five of the attackers killed on Sunday have been identified, Russian authorities said. Work is underway to identify all persons involved in the planning and implementation of these terrorist attacks.

The head of one of the local districts has been detained in connection with the alleged involvement of his sons in the terrorist attacks. The official’s two sons were among the attackers killed by law enforcement officers. The court ordered the administrative arrest of their father for 10 days under the article of petty hooliganism.

“This fits into a well-known pattern in Russia, where administrative detentions are often used to buy time before preparing a criminal case or forcing a suspect to confess guilt,” experts said. “It is critical that all aspects of the investigation and prosecution are conducted in strict accordance with international human rights standards, and that suspects are provided with all necessary legal remedies.”

Administrative detentions are often used to gain time before preparing a criminal case or forcing a suspect to confess guilt

Recalling the open use of torture against at least four people detained in connection with the terrorist attack in the Crocus shopping center in Moscow on March 22, 2024, the experts emphasized that all suspects have the right to protection from arbitrary detention and torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, and to a fair trial before an independent and impartial tribunal.

The experts recalled that the international legal obligation to protect the right to life requires the Russian authorities to take all reasonable measures to in good faith prevent hate violence, including religious hatred, and eliminate the root causes of terrorism. On October 29, 2023, after the outbreak of the war in Gaza, a huge crowd of aggressive people burst into Makhachkala airport, shouting anti-Semitic slogans and threatening violence against Jewish passengers on a flight arriving from Tel Aviv.

“The growth of anti-Semitism, anti-Christian sentiments and xenophobia, widespread corruption and systemic impunity in Dagestan are important factors that can fuel hostility and create fertile ground for the rooting of extremist ideologies,” experts warned.

In their opinion, to solve these problems, Russia needs comprehensive strategies, including increasing the transparency of public administration, strengthening the rule of law, combating impunity for past and current human rights violations in Dagestan and in the Russian North Caucasus Federal District as a whole, promoting accountability and addressing socio-economic inequalities.

Experts are not UN employees and are not paid for their work. They are independent of any government or organization and act in an individual capacity.


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