European court accepts Georgia vs Russia case

19th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The European Court of Human Rights on Monday declared admissible Georgia's complaint against Russia over their brief armed conflict in 2008.

The panel's decision, which follows a public hearing three months ago, "in no way prejudges the merits of the Georgian governments complaints," said the Strasbourg-based court in a statement.

"The court will deliver its judgment at a later date."

Georgia had denounced the "indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks" against civilians by Russian troops and separatist forces in the Moscow-backed breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

It argued that even after Russian forces withdrew, Russia maintained effective control over those territories through its armed forces and separatist forces under their control.

Georgia said hundreds of civilians had been "injured, killed, detained or gone missing" and thousands had lost their homes and were forced to flee.

It argued in its submission that Russia had breached the right to life, prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment and other articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Russia has rejected the claims as unjustified and not backed by admissible evidence and said the case falls outside the courts jurisdiction.

Moscow also argued that the conflict was a direct consequence of Georgias attack and said its own forces "had not launched an attack but, on the contrary, had defended the civilian population of South Ossetia against the Georgian offensives," said the court in its statement.

Russia also maintained that the separatist forces "acted independently and without authorisation or assistance by the Russian military command".

© 2011 AFP

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