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Friday, October 13, 2006

European Court for Human Rights Finds Russia Guilty . . . AGAIN

Reuters reports that the European Court for Human Rights has issued yet another guilty verdict against Russia for heinous human rights atrocities in Chechnya. Russia continues to flout the authority of the court even as it begs the UN to help it crush Georgia. Talk about hypocrisy!

The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday found Russia responsible for the deaths of five Chechens in February 2000 and ordered it to pay compensation to the families of the victims.The ruling is likely to increase scrutiny of Russia's human rights record and its policies in Chechnya following the murder on Saturday of Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist who was a fierce critic of Moscow's war in the republic.The five Chechens, members of the same family, were found dead in their home in late February 2002. The bodies, including a woman who was nine months pregnant and a one-year-old, all had gunshot wounds and there was evidence of looting.The Strasbourg court found unanimously that Russia had violated the "right to life" and criticised the government for failing to carry out a proper investigation."The Court concluded that the ... deaths could be attributed to the Russian State," the ruling said.The court ordered Russia to pay 220,000 euros ($275,700), to be shared between seven relatives of the victims, in moral damages and a further 7,751 euros to be shared between two of the seven in material damages.Thursday's ruling is the latest in a series of judgments by the court to have gone against Russia.Anna Politkovskaya, found shot dead in her Moscow apartment, wrote extensively about torture, kidnapping and unlawful killing in Chechnya by Russian forces and their local allies. Her colleagues said they believed her killing was linked to her reporting on Chechnya.In July, the court found Russia guilty of violating the "right to life" of a young Chechen who disappeared after a Russian general ordered him to be shot.Russian rights groups estimate there have been 3,000-5,000 disappearances in Chechnya since Russian troops moved to crush the breakaway region's self-declared independence in 1999.They say Russian troops have used abduction, rape and torture as weapons and the government has done too little to punish those responsible.

To read the full decision of the court, click here.

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