Russia ordered to pay damages in new Chechen cases

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The European Court of Human Rights ordered Russia on Thursday to pay 450,000 euros (550,000 dollars) in damages to the families of eight Chechens who disappeared without trace after being arrested.

The first case involved Usman Mavluyev, who on January 8, 2000 was walking from the Chechen capital Grozny to a village where his wife was staying when soldiers arrested him at a roadblock and threw him into a military vehicle.

A separate case concerned six Grozny residents who were taken from their homes by armed men dressed in camouflage and speaking unaccented Russian on September 18, 2000.

The judges at the court in Strasbourg ruled that in all the cases there had been breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights, including the articles regarding the right to life.

It ordered Russia to pay a total of 420,000 euros in compensation to the families of all seven.

The court also ordered Russia to pay 30,000 euros to the mother of a Chechen man kidnapped by armed men in June 2004 from the home of family members in neighbouring Ingushetia.

Moscow has already lost more than 150 cases at the human rights court over actions in Russia's turbulent Caucasus region, including the cases of more than 200 disappeared people, mostly in Chechnya.

A further 260 cases are pending at the court.

Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim region of Russia's North Caucasus that was torn apart by two separatist wars after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

© 2010 AFP

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