Beslan Hostage Tragedy Still Awaits Full Investigation

Washington

On the 10th anniversary of the school hostage crisis in Beslan, Russia, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“We express our deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones during the four-day siege of the school in Beslan in North Ossetia, which began September 1, 2004," said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House. “Freedom House, however, remains concerned by the Russian Federation’s refusal to conduct a forthright, transparent investigation of the events that led to 334 deaths, including 186 children.”

On September 1, 2004, a radical terrorist group took more than 1,000 hostages in the town of Beslan. Following the official refusal by then Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to negotiate with the gunmen, Russian forces launched an artillery barrage, later alleging that it followed an explosion inside the school. More than 500 survivors and families of victims filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that the State violated Article 2 of the European Convention, “the right to life.” A public investigation into the tragedy, including a report by two Duma inquiry commissions, questioned the veracity of the official version of the events that blames the terrorists for the first blasts inside the school.

Russia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2014 and Freedom of the Press 2014, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2013.

To learn more about Russia, visit:
Op-ed: The Dangerous Mr. Putin
Freedom in the World 2014: Russia
Nations in Transit 2014: Russia
Freedom of the Press 2014: Russia
Freedom on the Net 2013: Russia
Freedom House on Russia: 2003-2014

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc) and stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our RSS feedsnewsletter and our blog.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc) and Instagram. Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our RSS feedsnewsletter and our blog.