European Court of Human Rights dismisses claims against Georgia regarding August 2008 war
The European Court of Human Rights has rejected the claims of the residents of South Ossetia against Georgia in connection with the August 2008 war. According to the Georgian Ministry of Justice, the court declared inadmissible the claims in the cases of Bekoeva and Others v. Georgia and Shavlokhova and Others v. Georgia. The plaintiffs claimed that the Georgian side violated their rights during the hostilities.
According to the Minister of Justice of Georgia, Rati Bregadze, the Strasbourg court fully shared the arguments of the Georgian side that during the war the Tskhinvali region was subjected to active bombing by the Russian Federation and the Georgian armed forces did not exercise control over the region. Therefore, it was impossible for Georgia to break any international laws.
The court also shared the arguments of the Georgian side that the complaints were manifestly unfounded as the evidence did not meet the minimum standard and could not be presented to substantiate the claims.
“These decisions confirm that the Georgian government has successfully defended the interests of the state and the Georgian army in the international court”, said Rati Bregadze.
According to the minister, in order to protect the interests of the state in 2019-2020, the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, together with the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministry of Defense and the State Security Service, requested and submitted piles of evidence to the European Court showing that Georgia did not violate international law in 2008.
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Georgia v. Russia case
On January 21, 2021, the European Court of Human Rights announced the final judgment in the Georgia v. Russia case.
A court in Strasbourg found Russia guilty of violating six articles of the European Convention on Human Rights in regards to Georgian citizens, including violations of the right to life, torture, arson and destruction of private property.
During the August war, Georgia accused Russia of violating Article 8 of the European Convention. In particular, Georgia believes that Russia violated the right to life during and after the war, used torture and inhuman and degrading treatment towards Georgian citizens, violated the right to freedom and security, protection of private and family life, protection of property, the right to education and freedom of movement.
The Strasbourg court made a clear distinction between the active hostilities that took place between August 8-12 and the events that took place on August 12 after the signing of the ceasefire agreement.
The Strasbourg court almost completely satisfied Georgia’s claim regarding Russia’s actions after August 12.
The European Court ruled that Russia has exercised “effective control” over the conflict zone since August 12, 2008 and that Russia is responsible for violations of six articles of the Convention on Human Rights, including the right to life, torture and inhuman treatment.
At the same time, the court dismissed Georgia’s claim related to the events that occurred during the active phase of hostilities (August 8-12, 2008), since it could not establish the fact of the so-called “effective control” by Russia during this period.