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The European Court of Human Rights brought up the issue of Russia’s responsibility for abducting people on Ukrainian territory

On March 9, 2014, on the way to the Crimea at a checkpoint near the village of Perekop (Kherson region) a group of journalists, including Eugeniy Rakhno, was abducted by unidentified persons and there was no information about them for a few days.

The European Court addressed to the Russian and Ukrainian governments a number of questions, including the following:

– what were the reasons for stopping and searching a car at the checkpoint?

– who were those people at the checkpoint making such searches?

– are they state agents and, if yes, of which state?

– was Mr. Rakhno actually detained?

– what had been done to locate the abducted person?

The claimants are represented by lawyers Oleh Veremeenko and Arkady Bushchenko.

The lawyer Arkady Bushchenko said that: ‘lodging such complaint and its review by the European Court are extremely important because this raises the issue of Russia's responsibility for the events that are taking place on the territory, which Russia took under its de fact control. Russia may be hold liable for events that took place or will take place on a territory occupied by it by analogy with the cases of ‘Ilaşcu and others vs. Moldova and Russia‘ or  ‘Cyprus vs. Turkey’. Russia cannot use events in the Crimea as a pretext for any kind of demarche because it is responsible for them’.

Presently, previously abducted Eugeniy Rakhno, has been released. He is now in Kiev.

The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Right Union provides legal support for this case and will report on its progress.

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