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Moscow court upholds eviction of family from their private house-1

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MOSCOW, May 3 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow City Court upheld a decision Thursday to move a family from their private house in southern Moscow without granting new premises.

The Prokofyev mother and son were key figures in a high-profile confrontation last summer between city authorities and homeowners in Butovo over land on the outskirts of Moscow, intended for demolition to make way for high-rise apartment blocks.

In late March, the Zyuzinsky Court in Moscow ruled to evict the Prokofyevs without the offer of a new apartment, saying however that district authorities had to pay the family 1.544 million rubles ($59,000) in compensation for their property.

Yulia Prokofyeva said they would appeal the court's decision at a higher instance.

"We will certainly appeal this unfair decision," she said. "Land is being taken away from people and they are thrown out into the street."

It was the third time that the court had heard the case. After the first ruling to clear out their house came into effect last summer, authorities forcibly moved the mother and son into a one-room apartment and attempted to demolish their wooden house. Local residents blocked a bulldozer from entering the territory.

The Prokofyev family was not given keys and documents authorizing their ownership of the new apartment.

A Moscow district court - many of which have a reputation of being friendly to the city's authorities - ruled earlier that the Butovo residents could be removed from their property.

Residents of Butovo set up a tent camp and kept a vigil there day and night, resisting forcible attempts by authorities, bulldozers and riot police to remove them.

Promises of compensation and new apartments were rejected, as residents said they had been notified of the plan for demolition too late, and that the new housing on offer could not compensate for the houses and land plots currently in their possession.

However, City Hall argued that people in Butovo only have ownership rights to their houses, not to the land, which belongs to the city.

Butovo activists went to court and wrote open letters to President Vladimir Putin and the European Court of Human Rights.

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