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European Court to Discuss Georgia-Russia Case this Month

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, May 3
The Council of Europe has announced that at the end of the month the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will hear the case concerning the armed conflict between Georgia and Russia in August 2008 and its aftermath.

The hearing will take place on May 23.

“After the hearing the Court will begin its deliberations, which will be held in private. Its ruling in the case will, however, be made at a later stage,” the Council of Europe press release reads.

This case raises issues under articles which concern the right to life, prohibition of torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, the right to liberty and security, the right to private and family life, the right to an effective remedy.

The court has heard 33 witnesses in total: 16 summoned through the Georgian Government, 11 through the Government of Russia and six directly by the court.

The Russia-Georgia war lasted five days and following this armed conflict, 228 Georgian civilians, 170 soldiers and 14 police officers died.

The war displaced 192,000 people in Georgia. Many were able to return to their homes after the war but as of May 2014, more than 20,200 people remain displaced.

After the war Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru recognized two Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as independent republics.

The rest of the international community says that the breakaway area integral parts of Georgia and call on Russia to withdraw its forces.