Human Rights court calls 1940 Katyn massacre a 'war crime'
Posted in the Poland Forum
#1 Apr 16, 2012
The European Court of Human Rights said that it cannot rule on Russia's investigation into the 1940 Katyn massacre of over 22,000 Polish officers but calls the murders 'a war crime".
In the case Janowiec and Others v. Russia, the Court found that it could not examine the applicants complaint about the ineffective investigation into the Katyń massacre, the Court in Strasbourg ruled, Monday morning.
But, on a separate charge, the Court ruled that:Russia had failed to cooperate with the Court, and that its response to most victims relatives attempts to find out the truth about what happened in 1940 had amounted to inhuman treatment.
Both Poland and Russia can appeal the ruling, however. Russian advisor to the Council of Europe Vladislav Yermakov said that Moscow was satisfied with the ruling.
At first glance, the ruling seems satisfactory and balanced, although we need to examine it carefully, he said directly after the Court announced its verdict.
The court affirmed however that "the mass murder of the Polish prisoners by the Soviet secret police had been a war crime, as the obligation to treat prisoners of war humanely and the prohibition to kill them had clearly been part of international customary law, which the Soviet authorities had had a duty to respect."
Here you can read the the ECHR's Press Release issued by the Registrar of the Court:
I can add that there is no statute of limitations for war crimes. Russia still threats Katyn massacre as a common crime.
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