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Strasbourg fines Russia $100,000 over disappearance of Chechens

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PARIS, January 15 (RIA Novosti) - The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on Thursday ordered Russia to pay 81,000 euros ($106,000) in connection with the disappearance of two Chechens in 2002 and 2004.

The parents of Vakha Abdurzakov claim that their son was kidnapped from their home in Urus-Martan in October 2002 by the Russian military. The Russian government, on the other hand, claim that Abdurzakov was captured by unidentified armed people who were traveling in stolen vehicles.

Zalina Medov, the claimant in the second case, claims that her husband Adam was taken by armed men claiming to be Russian Federal Security Bureau personnel in 2004. Shortly afterwards, the vehicle was stopped at a military checkpoint for an ID check. The occupants of the vehicle refused to show their identification and were taken to a nearby police station and later released. However, the whereabouts of Adam Medov are still unknown.

In both cases it is claimed that the Russian government did not adequately investigate the disappearances at the time. Dissatisfied with the Russian court system, the claimants brought their cases before the European Court.

After investigating the cases, the court found that Russia had breached a number of articles under the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to life and effective investigation, and articles on torture, inhumane conduct, and the right to freedom.

The court ruled that Russia was to pay 70,000 euros to the claimants and 11,000 euros in court costs. The ruling comes into effect in three months if neither side appeals.

Around 20% of all complaints made to the Court in the past decade have concerned Russia.

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