In a ruling on July 26, 2007 the European Court of Human Rights found the Russian government responsible for 11 killings that took place in Aldi, a suburb of Grozny, in February 2000.

The killings were part of what Human Rights Watch documented as a massacre that Russian riot police and contract soldiers carried out in the midst of a sweep operation several days after Russian forces had taken control over the area.

The court’s unanimous ruling held Russia accountable for the 11 deaths, inhuman and degrading treatment of one of the applicants, failing to conduct an effective investigation, and failing to provide an effective domestic remedy for the abuses. It ordered the Russian government to pay the applicants more than US $225,000 in material and moral damages.

In announcing its ruling, the court declared that “the astonishing ineffectiveness of the prosecuting authorities in this case could only be qualified as acquiescence in the events.”

In a separate case on Chechnya, also issued on July 26, the court found the Russian government responsible for two forced disappearances that occurred in the village of Gekhi in August 2000. Human Rights Watch documented both cases, which are described in our March 2001 report, “The ‘Dirty War’ in Chechnya:
Forced Disappearances, Torture, and Summary Executions.”