This document updates the COI Focus Tsjetsjenië. Veiligheidssituatie of 11 June 2018. Research was focussed on new developments in the period from June 2018 to 15 June 2019.
The research for this report was closed on 15 June 2019.
All sources indicate that since 2009, there have been no widespread and major human rights violations or violations of international humanitarian law in Chechnya. However, violence still occurs, but it is more targeted in nature and has a limited impact. All sources mention human rights violations by the Kadyrov regime and attacks by rebels. Violence by state actors primarily targets members of the rebel movement and their relatives, but is not limited to this group. Rebels mainly carry out attacks against members of the security forces.
According to some sources, due to the strong control the regime exerts on society, only a limited amount of information on human rights violations and on the overall situation in Chechnya filters through.
Sources report that the rebel units of the Imarat Kavkaz were side-lined almost completely in 2015 and no longer play a significant role in the region. This is due to actions of the security services as well as to the emergence of IS in the North Caucasus. A number of potential recruits of the rebel movement in Chechnya have left the region in order to join the ranks of ISIS. Rebels who stay in Chechnya are developing a limited structure of independently operating cells under the IS flag. To this day, the activities and the impact of IS units in Chechnya remain limited, but it is not clear how this may evolve in the near future. At the same time, the number of fighters going to the Middle East is decreasing sharply.
According to the sources, the Chechen security forces are under the direct control of Ramzan Kadyrov, which is exceptional in the region, where security forces are usually answerable to the central federal structures. The Chechen security forces commit numerous human rights violations in a climate of impunity. The sources report illegal arrests, fabricated lawsuits, disappearances and abductions, torture during detention, extrajudicial executions and collective retaliatory actions such as burning down the houses of family members of alleged fighters.
Figures about the number of violent incidents and the number of victims are scarce. According to various sources, the available figures are an underestimation but indicate a decrease of the number of victims among the security services, rebels and civilians. Since 2013, this evolution has continued almost without interruption until 2017, when an increase in the number of victims was observed. In 2018, the number of victims among the security forces decreased, while the number of victims among rebels and civilians remained more or less stable.
The policy implemented by the Commissioner General is based on a thorough analysis of accurate and up-to-date information on the general situation in the country of origin. This information is collated in a professional manner from various, objective sources, including the EASO, the UNHCR, relevant international human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations, professional literature and coverage in the media. When determining policy, the Commissioner General does not only examine the COI Focuses written by Cedoca and published on this website, as these deal with just one aspect of the general situation in the country of origin. The fact that a COI Focus could be out-of-date does not mean that the policy that is being implemented by the Commissioner General is no longer up-to-date.
When assessing an application for asylum, the Commissioner General not only considers the actual situation in the country of origin at the moment of decision-making, he also takes into account the individual situation and personal circumstances of the applicant for international protection. Every asylum application is examined individually. An applicant must comprehensively demonstrate that he has a well-founded fear of persecution or that there is a clear personal risk of serious harm. He cannot, therefore, simply refer back to the general conditions in his country, but must also present concrete, credible and personal facts.
There is no policy paper for this country available on the website.