European court rules against Russia over 2004 school siege

European court rules against Russia over 2004 school siege

MOSCOW — Russia said Thursday it would appeal a European Court of Human Rights ruling that Moscow failed to adequately protect victims of a 2004 school siege in the city of Beslan that left more than 300 people dead.

The France-based court said authorities did not take necessary preventive measures to save lives. It said the security forces’ use of tank cannon, grenade launchers and flame-throwers contributed to casualties among the hostages. It also noted failures to increase security before the attack despite imminent threats against schools in the area.

Armed radical Islamic assailants seized the school on the first day of class, prompting a long standoff that ended in explosions and gunfire two days later.

The court ordered that Russia pay nearly 3 million euros ($3.2 million) in total compensation to the 409 Russians who brought the case to the ECHR; they include people who were taken hostage, or injured or are relatives of the hostages or those killed and injured.

The Russian Justice Ministry, announcing its intention to appeal, contended that the judges failed to grasp the gravity of the situation during the siege and specifics of efforts taken to free the hostages.

The ministry said the court’s assessment of indiscriminate use of weapons by Russian special forces was groundless, citing results of an official Russian probe into the siege.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, also rejected the court’s view of disproportionate use of force by the government, saying that “such hypothetical assessment is hardly acceptable.”

He told reporters in a conference call that Russia, as a country that came under numerous terror attacks, can’t accept the ruling.

“Such wording is absolutely unacceptable for a country that came under attack,” Peskov said.

“All the necessary legal action regarding this ruling will be taken,” he added.

The head of the Mothers of Beslan group, Aneta Gadieva, said the payment ordered was meagre.

“Somebody will get 5,000 euro, somebody will get 20,000 euro. That’s a small sum in compensation for moral damages,” she was quoted as telling state news agency Tass.

Chechen rebel warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility for organizing the school siege. It came amid a particularly violent period in the Islamist insurgency that was connected with the fight between Russian forces and Chechen separatists. A week before the seizure, suicide bombers downed two Russian airliners on the same night, killing a total of 90 people, and another suicide bomber killed 10 people outside a Moscow subway station.

___

Jim Heintz in Moscow and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.

Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

Indigenous leader shares traditional knowledge of B.C. plants for Earth Day

Guided walks through Beacon Hill Park provide insight to historical uses of Camas, Indian Plum, snow berries

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Rockin’ steady with Phonosonics

Victoria roots reggae band looks to attract wider audience with appearance on Rise Up TV show

Central Saanich, Tsawout taking part in reconciliation ceremony

Blanket event Monday to help foster mutual trust and respect

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

LOCAL FLAVOUR: Taking the sting out of nourishing nettles

Linda Geggie For the Saanich News When you think of nettles you… Continue reading

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Central Saanich, Tsawout taking part in reconciliation ceremony

Blanket event Monday to help foster mutual trust and respect

Ballet Victoria soirée fundraiser a prelude to final show of season

Company winds up its 15th season in the city with Peter Pan next month

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

Most Read