Strasbourg to consider the “Katyń case”


The European Court of Human Rights has accepted as admissible an application over the refusal by Russian legal structures to allow a claim lodged by descendants of Polish officers murdered at Katyń,  the „Nyezavismaya gazeta” [„Independent”] reported on Friday.

The application was lodged by son and grandson of officers of the Polish Armed Forces Jerzy Janowets and Anton Rybowski who had tried in vain to obtain access from the Russian authorities to documents about their relatives. The Russian courts refused to recognize them as victims of a crime.

The Polish men explain that they have approached Strasbourg since Russia is violating their right to a fair trial, is not fulfilling the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which binds states to safeguard life and explain each taking of a life.

On 24 October the Khamovnychesky Court in Moscow refused to officially rehabilitate the Polish officers murdered in the Katyń Forest (near Smolensk) in 1940.  The Prosecutor’s Office claimed that there was no information suggesting that these people had been subjected to repression.

In July 2007 the same court issued a similar ruling. In the middle of October the Moscow Distrit Military Court found the termination of the criminal investigation into the murder of the Polish officers at Katyń to have been lawful. It claimed as its reason that the bodies of the officers had not been formally identified.


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