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Rights groups urge Russia to enforce ECHR Chechnya judgments

[JURIST] Rights groups on Thursday called for [HRW report] Russia to enforce European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] judgments regarding human rights violations in Chechnya [JURIST news archive]. Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Memorial Human Rights Center and Russian Justice Initiative [advocacy websites] expressed concerns that the Russian government is not acknowledging the 104 ECHR judgments condemning their refusal to properly investigate violations and their failure to hold wrong-doers accountable. The violations [chart, PDF] include extrajudicial executions, bombings, torture, and disappearances. In the court's most recent judgments [text], Russia was found to have violated the European Convention on Human Rights [text] provisions regarding the right to life, required effective investigations, illegal detainment, ill-treatment and others.

The ECHR has repeatedly ruled against Russia in human-rights cases involving Chechnya. In April, the ECHR ordered [JURIST report] Russia to pay a total of €282,000 to compensate the families of Chechen abduction victims. In March, the court ordered Russia [JURIST report] to pay €37,000 to a Russian national for the death of her husband, who was chopping wood when Russian troops killed him in 2000. In December, the court determined [JURIST report] Russia had violated the human rights of six other Chechens who disappeared between 2001 and 2003, and ordered Russia [ECHR news release] to pay the victims' families €320,000. Also in December, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev [official profile; JURIST news archive] proposed [transcript, in Russian] that Russian courts become more transparent [JURIST report] in order to restore faith in the justice system and prevent people from turning to the ECHR.

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