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Europe rights court again holds Russia liable for Chechnya disappearances

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] on Thursday ruled that Russia is liable [press release] for the disappearance of two Chechen civilians. In the cases of Akhmed Rezvanov and Ramzan Babushev [judgments], the ECHR found Russia responsible for the disappearances of the two men in 2002 and 2003, respectively, fining Russia €90,000 [RIA Novosti report]. The court held that Russia had violated several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights [text], including the Article 2 right to life and the Article 3 right to be free from psychological suffering. The court also found that Russia had failed to investigate the disappearances.

The ECHR has repeatedly ruled against Russia in human rights cases involving Chechnya [JURIST news archive], and rights groups have urged Russia to enforce the judgments [JURIST report]. 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] 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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