The European Court of Human Rights has held that Russia acted in violation of Article 2 of the ECHR in its failures in relation to the Beslan hostage crisis.
On 1 September 2004, during a celebration of the start of the academic year, terrorists attacked a school in Beslan, Russia. Over 1,000 people were held captive, most of whom were children, over the next 50 hours. By the time the siege was over, over 330 people (including over 180 children) had lost their lives.
Victims of the attack and their family members brought claims to the European Court of Human Rights. They argued that Russia had breached its obligations under Article 2 (the right to life). In its long judgment, the Court found in their favour, concluding that Russia had violated Article 2. In particular, it held that:
It did not find that there had been a violation of the right to a remedy, guaranteed by Article 13.
Jennifer MacLeod was instructed by the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre for the “first group of applicants”, to assist in the written procedure before the Court.