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The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled Thursday that Russia must pay a Chechen woman about $70,000
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled Thursday that Russia must pay a Chechen woman about $70,000 in compensation for moral damages related to her husband's disappearance and alleged killing in 2000. Asmart Baisayeva claimed that her husband, Shakhid Baisayev, disappeared in March of 2000 on his way to work, at a time when Russia was conducting a military campaign in the troubled North Caucasus republic. Following his disappearance, she received a videotape recording showing him being beaten by soldiers and then taken away, as well as pictures of his presumed grave. Russian courts had considered the case of missing man 12 times, but failed each time to identify those guilty of his disappearance. On March 14, 2006, Russia announced that the investigation of the case was still open. The European Court also ruled Thursday that in addition to the 52,000 euros paid to Asmart Baisayeva in moral damages, Russia must also pay some 13,000 euros (about $17,400) for the court's expenses. The case of Baisayeva is the most recent of some 200 similar cases currently pending before the Strasbourg Court. Last July the Strasbourg-based court also obliged the Russian government to pay for moral damages amounting $44,000 to a woman whose son disappeared in Chechnya. The ECHR ruled in favor of Fatima Bazorkina, a Chechen resident whose son, Khadzhimurat Yandiyev, 25, has been missing since 2000. The court found that authorities had violated the European Convention on Human Rights and accused them of failing to protect Yandarbiyev from ill treatment and refusing to conduct a thorough investigation into his disappearance. Various estimates by human rights groups indicate that more than 3,000 people have been reported missing in Chechnya since 1999, when the second military campaign against separatists was launched. In 2006, the court considered 106 cases involving Russia, and only six were ruled in the state's favor, while the total number of complaints by Russian citizens reached 10,000. As a result, compensation worth more than 1.4 million euros will be paid from the Russian budget.
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