Georgia claims Russian human rights abuses

Sept. 8, 2008 at 7:45 AM
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Georgia says it hopes to persuade the International Court of Justice in The Hague to charge Russia with human rights violations.

Georgian leaders are seeking an injunction from the court against Russia for what it calls its infringement on the rights of Georgians living in the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, RIA Novosti reported Monday.

Tbilisi claims that Russian soldiers and officials forced 300,000 Georgians to flee their homes in the regions between 1991 and this year, when Georgia launched a military offensive against pro-Russian South Ossetian separatists.

But Russia also has filed a claim with the International Court of Justice, accusing Georgia of war crimes in its Aug. 8 assault on Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, the news agency said. Russia says Georgia killed hundreds of civilians in the violence, which sparked a massive Russian counter-offensive into Georgia.

The Georgian claims were filed as French President Nicolas Sarkozy led an EU delegation to Moscow, hoping to persuade Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to pull the country's forces out of positions in Georgia.

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