Общество и Армия
Международная сеть правозащитных организаций в поддержку призывников, военнослужащих и альтернативнослужащих: действия по обеспечению верховенства права
The UN Committee against Torture raised the issue of torture in the Russian Army at its session on examination of the fifth periodic report submitted by Russia

On November 12th, in Geneva, the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) continued its consideration of the fifth periodic report submitted by Russia on how it implements the provisions of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. At this session, members of the Committee considered the situation of torture in the Russian Armed Forces. Thus, Alessio Bruni (Italy), Committee Co-Rapporteur for the report of the Russian Federation, in his speech drew attention to the unresolved issue of torture in the army:
"The co-rapporteur is concerned about hazing in the armed forces. The Committee had previously recommended that the Russian Federation should apply a zero tolerance policy regarding these practices, but it did not happen. The Russian Federation itself has concluded that it is unable to radically change this unpleasant situation. Although there are many mechanisms in order to overcome this shameful problem, it seems that they do not work. Which stronger measures can be taken by the authorities to criminalize torture and automatically exclude offenders from the army?"
As well, Alessio Bruni described the situation in the Russian army in quite an emotional way by the words: "what is happening in your army is not “bullying", this is tortures”, and made a proposal for adoption of mandatory regulations which would eliminate the possibility of further service in the armed forces for those who were torturing soldiers.
 
Other members of the Committee, including Felice Gaer (USA, Committee Co-Rapporteur for the report of the Russian Federation) and Claudio Grossman (Chile, Chairman of the Committee), also mentioned torture in the army in their questions to the Russian delegation, led by Deputy Minister of Justice G. Matyushkin.
 
In its turn, the Russian Federation specified a number of actions and measures that have been taken at the present point in time:
 - the number of offenses related to the use of violence in the armed forces has been steadily declining;
 - moral and psychological climate in the army is getting healthier;
-  the term of conscription was shortened;
-  twenty-four-hour video surveillance of public places was set up in military units;
 - an interagency working group and military police were established.
 
"The fact that the Russian Federation reckons shortening of the term of conscription among mechanisms to combat torture is an undeniable result of the work of human rights organizations, and the interest of the Committee against Torture in these issue shows that the problem of torture and inhuman treatment in the ranks of the Russian Army is present", - comments Sergey Golubok, the representative of the "Soldiers' Mothers of St. Petersburg".