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Kremlin castigates ECHR conclusions in Beslan terror case as unacceptable

April 13, 13:00 UTC+3
The Kremlin doesn't agree that the authorities might have minimized the tragic effects of the terrorist attack
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© Vyacheslav Prokofiev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. The Kremlin deemed as unacceptable the European Court on Human Rights’ conclusion that Russia had failed to take sufficient measures when handling the with the Beslan hostage crisis of 2004.
"It is impossible for us, a country that has been repeatedly subject to attacks by terrorists, to agree with this statement," Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media while commenting on the ECHR’s ruling.

Emotional comments

He recalled that the list of countries that come under terrorist attacks "regrettably keeps growing steadily.""For this reason such statements are utterly unacceptable for a country that has come under attack," the spokesman stressed.

Peskov dismissed as "purely theoretical" and "absolutely unacceptable" the ECHR’s conclusions that the authorities might have minimized the tragic effects of the terrorist attack.

He remarked that his comment was emotional, adding that in this particular situation a legal evaluation would have been more appropriate. Asked if Russia would adhere to the ECHR ruling Peskov replied that "all necessary decisions will be acted on."

ECHR ruling

The European Court of Human Rights in its verdict regarding the lawsuit filed by the relatives of the Beslan terrorist attack ordered Russia to pay out roughly three million euros in compensation to the plaintiffs.

"The Court held that Russia was to pay the applicants a total of 2,955,000 euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage, and the applicants’ representatives a total of 88,000 euros in respect of costs," the court said in a news release.

The case concerns the terrorist attack on a school in the city of Beslan, North Ossetia in September 2004. On the list of plaintiffs there are 409 names, including those of relatives of the hostages killed in the attack and in the operation to storm the school building, as well as injured hostages.

The plaintiffs filed a lawsuit under a number of articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.

They argue that "the authorities had failed to take measures capable of preventing or minimizing the known risk, in violation of Article 2. The first group of applicants also maintained that many aspects in planning and controlling the security operation had been inadequate, and that the deaths had been the result of an indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force by the authorities," the ECHR secretariat said.

A gang of 30 terrorists seized Beslan’s school No. 1 on the first day of the academic year, September 1, 2004 during a gala ceremony in the courtyard. The terrorists forced more than 1,000 hostages, including small kids, into the school’s gym and kept them there for three days denying them access to food and water. The operation to free the hostages began on September 3.

The tragedy left 335 hostages, including 186 children, dead. Another 810 hostages, commandoes, police and troops were injured.

 

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