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Russia: Babitsky Calls For 'Nuremburg Trial' On Chechnya

Strasbourg, 5 April 2000 (RFE/RL) - An Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist today called for an international tribunal on the war in Chechnya to be set up. Andrei Babitsky, who was held in Chechnya in mid-January by Russian forces and not released until several weeks later, described the war in the Caucasian republic as "a crime against humanity." The reporter, speaking in a video linkup with members of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, said a tribunal should be held along the lines of the Nuremberg trials after World War II in which top Nazi officials were brought to justice. He said the tribunal's function should be to set up a legal mechanism to prevent "massive crimes by governments against civilian populations in the future."

Babitsky -- who is charged with possession of false documents -- could not go to Strasbourg himself because Russian authorities will not permit him to leave Moscow.