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   Case summaries      Finogenov v Russia 18299/03

Finogenov v Russia 18299/03 [2010] ECHR 589  European Court of Human Rights

The applicants were relatives of hostages who had been killed in the Dubrovka Theatre in Moscow in 2002 by a group of terrorists belonging to the Chechen separatist movement. The terrorists had held the hostages for 3 days before the authorities took control by using gas to overcome the terrorists. There were over 700 hostages, 129 died either from hooting or through effects of the gas. Some of the survivors had severe health problems related to the gas. The applicants allege that the evacuation of the hostages had been chaotic. The semi-naked bodies of unconscious hostages were piled up on the ground outside. Some died because they were laid on their backs and choked on their vomit or their tongues blocked their airway. There were not enough ambulances and the hospitals were not equipped to deal with such numbers.


There was a violation of Art 2 both in relation to the positive obligation to safeguard life through inadequate planning and the positive obligation to provide an effective investigation.

Back to lecture outline on Art 2 ECHR