Junio 28, 2007

Russia 'terror remains' ban kept

BBC News | Europe Thursday, 28 June 2007, 13:19 GMT 14:19 UK

Russia's top court has backed a law banning the return of the bodies of those branded terrorists or suspected of terrorism to their families.

The families of two suspected Chechen rebels killed in a 2005 special forces raid had appealed to the court, hoping to secure the return of their remains.

Correspondents say the practice echoes a Soviet custom of burying convicts without telling their families.

The case was brought to the Russian constitutional court by two women whose sons were killed in the operation, in the Northern Caucasus city
of Nalchik in October 2005.

The women had argued that the guilt of their sons was never proved
in court and therefore that they should be presumed innocent.

In another recent case, Russian authorities are refusing to hand over
the body of a man accused of being an Islamic militant shot dead
in the same region.

Human Rights Watch says it doubts an official Russian version of events, in which Ruslan Adishev was accused of being the spiritual leader of
an Islamic extremist organisation.

Russia's tactics in its battle against militants have frequently come in for criticism, with relatives of many of those accused of terror offences denying their guilt.

But Moscow maintains that the ban is leading to a decrease in terrorist activity, and that disclosing the burial places of terror suspects
could lead to a spread of terrorist propaganda and ethnic hatred.

The European Court of Human Rights is also examining the Nalchik mothers' case.

Posted by marga at Junio 28, 2007 5:47 PM | TrackBack
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