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Chechnya Tribunal Meets in Prague

Prague, May 24 (RFE/RL) -- Human rights activists gathered in Prague today for the third session of what organizers call a non-governmental tribunal on war crimes in the Chechnya conflict.

The Chairman of the Glasnost Public Foundation, Russian human rights activist Sergei Grigoriants, opened today's session, and the non-governmental tribunal heard testimony of witnesses and reviewed documents.

The idea for this type tribunal was set up last year (Sep, 1995). Since then, two such tribunal sessions had taken place in Moscow and in Stockholm, with more than a hundred witnesses giving testimony.

The goal of the tribunal, Grigoriants says, is to provide information to politicians as well as the public about alleged human rights violations. The tribunal is supported by world-known human rights activists.

Grigoriants, who heads the tribunal's organizing board, told RFE/RL he will appeal to the Council of Europe Human Rights Commission, and to the World Court in the Hague to start an investigation based on materials gathered by the non-governmental tribunal experts. The Prague session will last three days.