Russia will stand trial in the European Court for kidnapping hostages in Slovyansk

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (UHHRU) appealed to the European Court of Human Rights on the occasion of the abduction and torture of hostages by mercenaries in Slovyansk.

The organization hopes that the court will establish the involvement of militarists of the Russian Federation in the kidnapping, the government of which will be obliged to pay the compensation to victims.

Also the rights advocates note the insufficiency of activity of Ukraine in relation to the liberation of hostages who were not military. And give the examples that the officials of Security Service of Ukraine, who fell in captivity, were exchanged for captured gunmen much more often than civilians, who also were taken captive.

The lawyer on the case Oleh Veremeenko points out: "Similar cases in the European Court are also called "Chechen". The practice of taking hostages appeared in the 1990s (during the First and Second Chechen Campaign). And at that time the lawyers and human rights organizations applied to Strasbourg in the order of the Rule No. 39 (urgent cases) and demanded the release of hostages. In this case, the difficulty was to prove the connection of terrorists with Russian Federation and thereby to ground the responsibility of Russian agents, and then – the responsibility of the State. We referred to the fact that in the possession of terrorists was the newest weapon: man-portable air defence systems – at the cost of 80 thousand US dollars, T-72 tanks, guns, other modern armoured vehicles and so on. I hope that the court heard our arguments".

The case is conducted within the limits of the Strategic Litigations Fund of UHHRU.

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