Georgian politicians welcome the January 31 decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Grand Chamber, according to which, Russia has to pay €10 million to Georgian citizens who were collectively detained and extradited from Russia in autumn 2006.

By sixteen votes to one, the court ruled that Russia had to pay Georgia 10,000,000 euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage suffered by a group of at least 1,500 Georgian nationals.

“The amount was ordered to be distributed to the individual victims by paying EUR 2,000 to the Georgian nationals who had been victims only of a violation of Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 (collective expulsion), and EUR 10,000 to EUR 15,000 to those among them who had also been victims of a violation of Article 5 § 1 (unlawful deprivation of liberty) and Article 3 (inhuman and degrading conditions of detention) of the European Convention on Human Rights, taking into account the length of their respective periods of detention,” the ECHR says.

Georgia’s Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani said the decision of the ECHR is the victory obtained by Georgia.

“I would like to express my gratitude to all people who have been involved in this process since the first day. This is especially relevant to the Ministry of Justice,” he stated.

The leader of the parliamentary majority Archil Talakvadze said that the ECHR decision has ones again demonstrated that justice does not depend on big or small countries and those, who have more power, cannot do everything.

“The Ministry of Justice has done a great job and has successfully completed this important case, “said MP Talakvadze.

Sopho Katsarava, Chairperson of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, also commented on the issue. According to the MP, although there are a number of facts when Russia does not fulfill its obligations, the Georgian authorities do everything to ensure enforcement of the Strasbourg Court’s judgment.

By Thea Morrison