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European Court Critical Of Russia, Georgia Over Chechens

Prague, 12 April 2005 (RFE/RL) - The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, ruled today that Georgia violated the human rights of 13 Chechens.

The court said Georgia failed to give them a fair chance to appeal against extradition after they entered the country illegally.

The 13 men, all Chechens of Russian or Georgian origin, were arrested on the border between Russia and Georgia in 2002 carrying weapons. Five of the men were extradited to Russia despite a request by the European Court of Human Rights for the Georgian authorities to defer any decision.

Two others were arrested in Russia after being freed by Georgia. The remaining six have been freed by Tbilisi.

The court ordered Georgia to pay the 13 men a total of more than 100-thousand dollars. It also said Moscow violated the European human rights convention that guarantees individuals the right of appeal. (RTR)

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