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The European Court of Human Rights is to consider on Thursday
The European Court of Human Rights is to consider on Thursday a lawsuit filed by Georgia that accuses Russia of illegal arrests and deportation of Georgians from Russia in 2006 and 2007.

The case will be considered by a seven-member panel, including both Russia and Georgian judges.

The application was lodged by the Georgian authorities in March 2007 after Russia arrested 11 Georgian nationals on suspicion of espionage. The event followed the arrest of four Russian servicemen by Georgia on the same charges.

Russia called the arrest of its nationals a "provocation" and recalled its ambassador in Tbilisi for consultations. Staff at the Georgian Embassy in Moscow and their family members were partially evacuated.

Moscow temporarily severed all transport links with Georgia in October 2006. Postal links between the two countries were also suspended. Georgia subsequently transferred the arrested Russian servicemen to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

According to a court statement, Georgia said "the reaction of the Russian authorities to this incident amounted to an administrative practice of the official authorities giving rise to specific and continuing breaches" of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Tbilisi has also accused Russia of "widespread arrests and detention" as well as "collective expulsion of Georgians" from Russia, stating that "at least 2,380 Georgians" were detained and held in bad conditions.

The Strasbourg Court says only three decisions have been passed on lawsuits between states since 1959: Ireland vs. the United Kingdom (1978), Denmark vs. Turkey (2000) and Cyprus vs. Turkey (2001).


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