ECHR ruling in Beslan terror attack case comes into force
MOSCOW, September 19 (RAPSI) – A ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) awarding about €3 million in compensation to victims of terror attack on a school in the Russian town of Beslan has come into force, the court’s decision reads on Tuesday.
Earlier, Russia’s Justice Ministry filed a request to refer the case to the Grand Chamber of the court.
On April 13, ECHR obliged Russian authorities to pay the terror attack victims about €3 million in compensation and €88,792 of costs and expenses.
ECHR ruled that Russian authorities were aware of the planned terrorist attack but did not take necessary measures to prevent the tragedy. The court also exposed serious shortcomings in planning and controlling the operation of hostages’ rescue.
The Justice Ministry claims that the ECHR’s ruling may indicate double standards regarding Russia, arguing that this decision contrasts ones made in precedent cases.
In particular, the Ministry notes that the Strasbourg court did not find violations in the organization of counter-terrorism operations in Great Britain after the 2005 attack in London involving shooting of a bystander mistaken for terrorist.
The Ministry said that Russian special operations forces are accused of using heavy weapons before confirmation of all hostages leaving school, yet British police are not treated the same way by ECHR for shooting a man based on subjective belief that he is a terrorist.
The Russian state body also recounted a case involving the murder of anti-globalist demonstration participant by a police officer, noting that, based on special opinions of the ECHR Grand Chamber judges, back then ECHR used much more relaxed criteria for obtaining evidence and judging efficiency of investigation.
Finally, the Ministry rejected arguments for transparent and through descriptions of operations’ plans, specifying weapons used in each case. According to the Ministry, giving access to such sensitive information in the era of increasingly frequent terror attacks will only decrease efficiency of operations against terrorism.
Victims of the attack and their families filed seven applications with ECHR between 2007 and 2011. Complaints were merged into one by the court with overall number of applicants reaching 447.
They claimed that Russian authorities failed to prevent the terrorist attack and fulfill their duty of protecting civilians. Applicants also claimed that assault was poorly organized and that there was no proper investigation into the events.
ECHR held that Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated. According to the Strasbourg court, Russian authorities were aware of the planned terrorist attack but did not take necessary measures to prevent the tragedy.
The court also exposed serious shortcomings in planning and controlling the operation of hostages’ rescue.