Moscow, 23 May 2001 (RFE/RL) -- The secretary-general of the Council of Europe travels to Moscow today for two days of talks with top officials there expected to be dominated by Russia's human rights record in Chechnya. Walter Schwimmer's visit comes a day after an international human rights monitor criticized the West for failing to censure Russia after the discovery of a mass grave in Chechnya containing some 50 bodies. Human Rights Watch singled out the Council of Europe for what it called "inactivity."
The New York-based human rights organization said the mass grave had been located near a Russian military headquarters in Chechnya in February. It said the grave contained 51 bodies, and that at least 16 had been identified as civilians.