European court: Russia violated Georgians' rights

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PARIS (AP) — The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia violated rights of Georgians with a coordinated campaign of arrests and expulsions ahead of the 2008 war between the two neighboring countries.

The case focused on police roundups of Georgians in the fall of 2006, when bilateral tensions were running high. Relations have improved recently after the departure of Georgia's then-president, Mikhail Saakashvili.

In a ruling Thursday, the court found that Russian authorities did not allow Georgians enough legal recourse against the arrests and expulsions, and detainees were held in inhumane conditions.

The court found that the practices violated multiple articles of the European Convention of Human Rights. The court's rulings are binding. It will decide later on fines or other punishment.

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