European rights courts raps Russia over missing Chechens
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned Russia on Tuesday over the disappearance of three Chechen men presumed dead.
The Court awarded 60,000 euros ($88,000) to the families of each of the three missing men after ruling a breach of the right to life, freedom and safety in the cases.
Valid Gerasiyev, 28, disappeared in February 2005 during a raid in Shaami-Yurt and has not been seen since.
Abdul Kosumov, 20, was kidnapped by armed men in Mesker-Yurt in November 2002.
In the third case, 22-year-old Magomed-Emi Kudayev was taken from his home by an armed gang in 2004. His family were told a year later that he had been detained at a Russian base.
The ECHR said Russian soldiers were behind the acts and criticised the government's refusal to offer any explanation for the kidnappings.
It concluded that the three Chechens "must be presumed dead" following their detention while denouncing the "inadequate character" of the criminal inquiries.
Russia has been criticised by Strasbourg more than 150 times for its actions in the Caucasus region and there are more than 250 cases pending.
Moscow generally pays the sums and does not appeal the court rulings but does not reopen investigations when requested.
No one has ever appeared in court over the crimes, according to the Russian Justice Initiative organisation.
© 2011 AFP