The European Court of Human Rights has fined Russia 150,000 euros ($207,000) for the disappearance of two residents of the volatile North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, the court said in a statement.
Brothers Ilyas and Isa Yansuyev disappeared in February 2003, when they were kidnapped by unidentified armed people wearing camouflage uniforms. According to witnesses, the two Chechens were taken away in a military vehicle in the direction of a military base.
The brothers' relatives appealed to the Strasbourg Court over the kidnapping after a domestic investigation yielded no results.
The court ruled that Yansuyev brothers "should be considered dead as a result of the unacknowledged detention by the Russian military," according to a statement published on Thursday.
The Russian authorities argued the kidnappers might be militants who had stolen arms from military stores.
The court said the Russian government had failed to provide it with the requested documents.
Strasbourg believes Russia violated a range of articles in the Convention on Human Rights, including the right to life, inhuman and degrading treatment, unacknowledged detention and the right to an effective remedy.
The court ordered the Russian government to pay the relatives of the dead 27,000 euros (more than $37,300) in material damage, 120,000 euros (more than $166,000) in moral damage and 8,000 euros (more than $11,000) to cover court expenses.
Under the European Convention on Human Rights, Russia or the applicants have three months to appeal the ruling in the court's Grand Chamber.
Russia has lost most of its cases in the Strasbourg Court. Last year, suits against Russia accounted for more than one quarter of all cases filed in the court.
PARIS, October 28 (RIA Novosti)