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NORD-OST IN STRASBOURG: THE OUTCOME
Friday, 15 June 2012

 :The European Court reached a decision in the case of Finogenov et al, better known as the 'Nord-Ost' case, on December 20th, 2011. Itdetermined that the Russian authorities violated Article 2of the European Convention (the right to life), and on June 4th, 2012, this decision becamefinal.

This did not take place on March 20th, 2012 typically a decision enters into force three months after its delivery but only in early June because a group of five judges at the European Court, headed by the Court President, had to act on a petition for the case to be considered by the Grand Chamber in order to get an acknowledgement of yet another

violation on the part of the Russian authorities. Thisappeal was filed by a small group of applicants, as most of the applicants agree with the court's decision. Ifmost do not quite agree, in any case they filed no complaints that Iknowabout.

I do not know if the five judges found it easy to reach a decision to not transfer the case to the Grand Chamber, but my principals in the transfer petition found it very difficult. Andwhy is that? Whatis so complicated about the situation? Thefact is that, in general, the applicants agree with the Court's recognition of the violation of the right to life and do not contest the entire decision, but rather have just one question as a matter of principle.

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Now that is some granny!..
Sunday, 13 May 2012

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While browsing the Internet, we accidentally came across a picture of an elderly woman holding a sign dedicated to ‘Nord-Ost’. Wewere moved by both the sign, and the person holdingit.

We wished to know more about this person, and as a result of searches of Live Journal, we learned that this elderly woman is a survivor of the Leningrad Blockade, a teacher, and draws her own posters.

Her political leanings are Democrat, and on every 31st of the month, as well on as other days, she walks along Nevsky Prospect with her signs, and often stands with her posters in front of Saint Petersburg’s large exhibition and shopping center, GostinyDvor.

On the evening of May 6th she was at Gostiny Dvor, holding up two signs, with two more on the sidewalk next to her. Thepolice simply walked on by, and no one bothered her. Thenext day, however, she was again at Gostiny Dvor, and was arrested for some reason, but the police chief ordered her released, because: “I won’t holding a Blockade survivor here!” Later she moved her demonstration to St. Isaac’s Square, and stood by Tsar Nikolai’s monument with a sign protesting Putin’s inauguration.

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The terrorist attack in Beslan:
Friday, 27 April 2012

The terrorist attack in Beslan: Strasbourg considers complaints against Russia from hostages and their families

ImageOn April 10th, 2012, the European Court of Human Rights communicated to the Russian Federation seven complaints of violations by the state of the right to life and the right to effective remedy with respect to acts and omissions by the authorities before, during and after the seizure of hostages in School #1 in Beslan on September 1st, 2004. Thismeans that the complaints have been officially communicated to the respondent state. Strasbourg asked parties to the proceedings a number of questions in order to allow consideration of the admissibility and merits of the complaints. Italso required the government to provide copies of available case materials for its examination.

The entire proceedings were given the tentative title of ‘Tagayeva and Others v. Russia, and Six other Applications, complaints #26562/07, &tc.’ It contains complaints from 447applicants found in the following petitions: ‘Tagayeva and Others v. Russia, complaint #26562/07’, which was submitted, inter alia by Emma Lazarovna Tagayeva, head of the all-Russia public organization ‘Voice of Beslan’, ‘Dudiyeva and Others v. Russia, complaint #14755/08’, filed by Susanna Petrovna Dudiyeva, head of the North Ossetia public organization ‘Beslan Mothers association of victims of terrorist acts’ (commonly referred to as ‘Beslan Mothers Committee’), ‘Albegova and Others v. Russia, complaint #49339/08’, ‘Savkuyev and Others v. Russia, complaint #49380/08’, ‘Aliyeva and Others v. Russia, complaint #51313/08’, ‘Kokova and Others v. Russia, complaint #21294/11’, and ‘Nogayeva and Others v. Russia, complaint #N37096/11’.

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Unregulated terrorist attack
Friday, 20 April 2012

ImageThe case filed at the request of President Dmitry Medvedev, which was to “shake up” the entire transportation police force due to the terrorist attack at Domodedovo, isnow

closed. Investigators conducted hundreds of examinations, performed dozens of searches, and interrogated three hundred witnesses, but they did not find any evidence against the suspects. Itwas found that at the time of last year's attack the transportation security system was unregulated. Investigators, however, did identify several instances of fraud at the airport, and identified these for separate proceedings.

On Friday the Investigating Committee of Russia (ICR) announced that it had closed the criminal investigation into the failure of the transportation security requirements at Domodedovo international airport (Article 2631of the Criminal Code). Thecase was filed after Magomed Yevloyev on January 24th, 2011, brought an explosive device unhindered into the airport's entrance terminal and set it off. Theterrorist attack killed 37people and injured another 173. Immediately after the tragedy, the president ordered security officials to “shake up” the entire transportation security policeforce.

“Just as there were reasonable grounds to initiate a criminal case, there were also reasonable grounds to terminate it,” stated theICR.

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Anniversary of Moscow subway terrorist attacks
Thursday, 29 March 2012

ImageThursday marks exactly two years since the terrorist attacks on the Moscow subway. TheInvestigation Committee of Russia continues to investigate the circumstances of this tragedy.

At this point investigators have identified all the direct perpetrators and organizers of the blasts.

It was also determined that members of the militant group were trained in the use of explosives while in the Khasavyurt district of Dagestan, where they built improvised explosive devices.

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FINOGENOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
Tuesday, 20 December 2011

(Applications nos. 18299/03 and 27311/03)

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6. Rescue and evacuation operation

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(c) Conclusions

263. Itis not possible for the Court to establish an individual story for each deceased hostage: where he or she was sitting when the operation began, how seriously he or she was affected by the gas and “concomitant factors” (stress, dehydration, chronic diseases etc.), what kind of treatment was received on the spot, at what time he or she arrived at a hospital, what kind of treatment he or she received in that hospital, etc.

264. Further, what is true in respect of the majority of the hostages may not be true in each individual case, taken alone. Thus, the alleged lack of medical aid would be irrelevant in a situation where a person had already died by the time the medics arrived. Equally, the Court cannot exclude that some of the victims were amongst those who were first to receive medical assistance but nevertheless died, because they were very weak or ill and died as a result of “a stroke of misfortune, a rare and unforeseeable occurrence” (see Giuliani and Gaggio, cited above, 192).

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Will the Strasbourg Court's verdict?
Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Will the Strasbourg Court's verdict unravel the mysteries of the 'Nord-Ost' tragedy?

9  Vladimir Kara-Murza: The Strasbourg court found Russia guilty of Human Rights violations during during the assault of Dubrovka in Moscow. While trying to rescue the 'Nord-Ost' hostages, the Russian authorities violated the right to life Article 2of the European Convention on Human Rights.

After 8years of litigation the Strasbourg court ruled that they had to pay 64plaintiffs compensation from 8thousand to 66thousand euros. Thiswas stated in an announcement by the ECHR, which was published on the organization's website.

Our citizens who turned to the court say that the Russian authorities used unreasonable force, did not provide timely medical assistance to the hostages, as well as ineffectively investigating the attack.

We are talking with Karinna Moskalenko about whether the Strasbourg court's verdict will unravel the mysteries of the 'Nord-Ost' tragedy. Moskalenko is the lawyer for the victims of the 'Nord-Ost' attack, while Elena Milashina is a columnist from 'Novaya Gazeta', and Dmitri Milovidov is an activist for the 'Nord-Ost' public organization. Whatis the meaning and principal value of the Strasbourg court's verdict?

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