ECtHR Ruling of the Week: Tagayeva and Others v. Russia [on the events in Beslan, 1-3 September 2004]

Week-ending 4 September 2020


In September 2004 over 330 people – including more than 180 children – lost their lives and over 750 people were injured in the atrocity at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia. 409 victims or family members brought their case to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing there had been numerous failings by the Russian authorities in relation to the attack.

On 13 April 2017 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the authorities’ efforts to prevent the hostage-taking and warn the public had been inadequate and indiscriminate weapons had been used on the school, increasing the number of casualties. Finally, the investigation into the events had been insufficient for finding the truth about what happened. The court indicated the need for a variety of measures aimed at drawing lessons from the past, raising awareness of relevant legal and operational standards, and preventing similar violations in the future. The applicants were awarded almost 3 million euros in compensation.

For more information, see the ruling above, and: ‘Court win for victims of the Beslan school terrorism attack,’ Council of Europe, accessed 4 September 2020

See also about events this week:

On Wednesday, 2 September 2020, Caucasian Knot reported that Fatima Dzgoeva, who received grave traumas during the Beslan school seizure, needs expensive treatment and rehabilitation abroad. Her relatives are unable to raise the necessary funds; while the federal budget fails to pay for the rehabilitation of Beslan terror act victims, the “Novaya Gazeta” newspaper writes. On September 1, 2004, terrorists took 1128 hostages in a gym of the Beslan school No. 1. The special operation to release the hostages was finished on September 3, 2004. As a result of the terror act, 334 people were killed, including 186 children, and other 810 people were injured. On July 14, Fatima Dzgoeva turned 26; 16 years ago she became disabled as a result of the terror act committed in the Beslan school. In two weeks from now, she needs to go to Germany for treatment, but her family cannot pay for it, says the article “Love Your Movement” by the “Novaya Gazeta”, published on September 1, 2020.

On Friday, 4 September 2020, Meduza reported that on 3 September the Russian state television network Rossiya 1 premiered a new documentary film by journalist Alexander Rogatkin about the 2004 terrorist attack against a school in Beslan. […] Much of “Beslan” is devoted to criticizing the theory that most of the hostages who died were killed by shelling from grenade launchers positioned atop a nearby building and not, as the Russian government claims, by the explosions of bombs planted by the terrorists.

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