Russia condemned for dragging its feet on katyn reappraisal

Russia condemned for dragging its feet on katyn reappraisal

The russian state is reluctant to acknowledge the reality of the murder of thousands of poles by the soviet secret service, the prosecution judges criticized. The court did not order a complete re-investigation of the events of 1940. There was no trial in strasbourg about compensation for the polish prisoners.

Lawsuits were filed by victims of the massacre, including army and police officers, an army doctor and a school principal. The ancestors were shot by soviet units in katyn and other places after the invasion of poland by soviet troops in april and may 1940, together with about 22,000 poles. More than 4,000 bodies buried in mass graves in katyn forest near smolensk. Only after the end of the soviet union the kremlin admitted its own guilt. According to the judges, the process of coming to terms with the crime in the interests of the victims is still making little progress in russia. "The reaction of the authorities to the requests of most of the 15 complainants to find out the truth about the death of their loved ones was tantamount to inhumane treatment," the verdict read.

The russian authorities should have responded "in a humane and compassionate manner to the suffering and distress of the grieving relatives," the judges ruled. "Striking" they found the judiciary’s "apparent reluctance to acknowledge the reality of the massacre".

However, the court left unanswered the crucial question of whether, under article two of the convention (right to life), the russian state failed to investigate the massacre thoroughly enough. A conviction could have triggered a flood of complaints from other victims’ relatives and necessitated a new investigation by the russians.

The decision from strabburg is seen by russia as a "good result," a justice ministry representative said monday, according to the interfax agency.

The lawyer of the complainants, ireneusz kaminski from krakow, on the other hand, announced that they would most likely apply for an appeal. The representative of the government in warsaw, maciej szpunar, said that poland’s expectations had been largely fulfilled with this ruling.

Two years ago, a polish government plane carrying president lech kaczynski crashed in western russia on its way to the katyn memorial service. All 96 people on board were killed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.