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ECHR orders Russia to pay compensation to NGO chief, reporters abducted in Ingushetia

March 14, 18:43 UTC+3 PARIS

The former chairman of NGO Memorial and three journalists from Russian REN TV television were abducted in 2007

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PARIS, March 14. /TASS/. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday compelled Russia to pay 23,500 euros in compensation to the former chairman of NGO Memorial, Oleg Orlov, over his abduction in Russia’s North Caucasian republic of Ingushetia and ill-treatment.

The same compensations were awarded to three journalists from Russian REN TV television, also abducted in Ingushetia in 2007.

"The other three applicants, Artem Vysotskiy (born in 1974), Stanislav Goryachikh (born in 1986), and Karen Sakhinov (born in 1982), were a reporter and camera team for REN TV, a Russian television company. They were in the region to cover a planned protest against the abuse of power by state security services," the judgement said.

"On the night of 23 November 2007, which was the eve of the public protest, all four applicants were staying in the Hotel Assan in Nazran, Ingushetia. According to multiple witnesses, the security guards and police who were normally present at the hotel were summoned away from the premises, following a call made by a Deputy Minister of the Interior of Ingushetia," it went on.

"During the night, men dressed in camouflage and armed with automatic weapons burst into hotel rooms that were occupied by the applicants. The applicants were physically assaulted, saw their belongings seized, and had their heads covered in black plastic bags. They were then abducted in a minibus waiting outside," the ECHR judgement said.

"An investigation was opened. The applicants and numerous witnesses gave statements giving an account of the abduction. However, the investigation was repeatedly suspended (before being reopened), on the grounds that the perpetrators could not be identified," it said. The investigation is still pending.

The ECHR ruled that the applicants’ rights were violated under Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and Article 5 (right to liberty) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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