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European Court Says Will Consider Beslan Case Against Russia

  • Tom Balmforth

People mourn inside School Number One during a ceremony commemorating the victims of the 2004 hostage crisis in the southern Russian town of Beslan, September 1, 2014.

People mourn inside School Number One during a ceremony commemorating the victims of the 2004 hostage crisis in the southern Russian town of Beslan, September 1, 2014.

MOSCOW -- The European Court of Human Rights has agreed to consider two central parts of a case filed against Russia for its handling of the bloody school hostage taking in Beslan over 10 years ago that claimed 334 lives.

The case was brought against Russia by 447 nationals who maintain the state violated several articles of the European Convention in its resolution of the crisis.

The court in Strasbourg said on July 2 it will consider their case with relation to two articles, including Article 2 on the “right to life,” seen by plaintiffs as central to their case.

In September 2004, militants stormed a school in Beslan, in the southern province of North Ossetia and took more than 1,100 children and teachers hostage.

The school was surrounded by security forces, culminating on September 3 in explosions and a hail of bullets.

Questions have persisted over whether the militants or Russian security forces initiated the final firefight.

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    Tom Balmforth

    Tom Balmforth covers Russia and other former Soviet republics. He can be reached at balmfortht@rferl.org

     

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