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ECHR rules Russia responsible for Chechen civilian deaths

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] ruled Thursday that Russian authorities were responsible for the shooting death of 11 unarmed civilians [judgment, DOC] in Chechnya and ordered Russia to pay damages and court expenses totaling 163,864 euro (approximately $224,500) to five Chechen plaintiffs. The court ruled that Russia was responsible for the February 2000 incidents, in which soldiers killed the victims, then looted and set fire to their properties, because the perpetrators were Russian federal troops. The court also found that the Russian military failed to investigate the matter in a "timely and coherent manner." Russia has three months to appeal the ruling.

In June, the ECHR ruled [JURIST report] in another case that Russian authorities were responsible for the 2003 death of four members of a Chechen family. ECHR President Judge Jean-Paul Costa estimated in May that almost one-fifth of the approximately 90,000 complaints [JURIST report] currently before the court are directed against the Russian government. AFP has more.

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