The European Court of Human Rights said it had thrown out Russia's appeal against a ruling condemning Russian military forces for the disappearance and presumed death of a young man during the war in Chechnya seven years ago.
Russia will have to pay the man's mother €35,000 (US$47,400) in damages and more than €12,000 (US$16,250) for court expenses. The court upheld its judgment that Russia violated the European Convention on Human Rights by unlawfully detaining Khadzhi-Murat Yandiyev during a takeover of a Chechen village by Russian troops.
The landmark case was followed by several other similar rulings by the human rights court against Russia over the past year, and nearly 200 other Chechen disappearance cases are still pending in Strasbourg.
Yandiyev's mother, Fatima Bazorkina, filed the complaint against Russia in 2001, after she saw television footage of a Russian officer interrogating her son as troops were taking over the village of Alkhan-Kala. The officer orders soldiers to shoot her son at the end of the footage.
Last Mod: 17 Mayıs 2007, 15:01
The officer, later identified as Col.-Gen. Alexander Baranov, was questioned about the incident by Russian authorities but never prosecuted.
Yandiyev was a student at the Moscow Sociology University before going to Chechnya in his final year of studies in 1999 to find his father.
Bazorkina, who lives in the neighboring region of Ingushetia, saw the TV footage in February 2000. Her visits to prisons and detention centers and a criminal investigation into her son's disappearance, which closed in 2004, were fruitless.
An estimated 100,000 civilians, soldiers and insurgents have died in Chechnya in two wars since 1994. Human rights groups have also reported mass disappearances, blaming them on pro-Moscow Chechen security forces and Russian troops.