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Human rights court finds abuses by Russia in Chechnya offensives

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights [official website] ruled Thursday that Russia was guilty of serious abuses against Chechen civilians during its military campaign against rebel forces in the region. Six Chechens brought claims of torture and abuse against Russia stemming from military operations in 1999 and 2000. The court ordered Russia to pay $179,900 in damages to the six for breaching the European Convention of Human Rights [text, PDF]. The court found Russia had breached several rights, including the right to life, the ban on torture, and the protection of property. The cases were the first heard from the recent conflict in Chechnya, but about 120 complaints have been filed with the court. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are estimated to have been killed in the ongoing conflict. Read the court's opinion [text] for two plaintiffs who accused the Russian military of torturing and killing family members. The other claimants alleged injuries from bombing by Russian planes. Read the court's opinions on the claim here [text, DOC] and here [text, DOC]. The ECHR has a press release on the judgments. Reuters has more.

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