In September 2004 heavily armed terrorists held captive over 1,000 people, the majority of them children, in a school in Beslan.

Following explosions and an armed intervention by Russian security forces, over 330 people lost their lives (including over 180 children).

The authorities had sufficient information about a planned attack. They failed to take any measures. Police officers charged with negligence were granted amnesty.

Heavy weapons such as tank cannon, grenade launchers and flame-throwers were used by security forces. No one was charged for casulties caused among the hostages.

The hostages, or family members of those killed or injured, lodged several hundred complains. All of them were dismissed by Russian courts. In reaction the complainers were intimidated and persecuted by Russian authorities.

More than 400 of them therefore brought a case to the European Court of Human Rights with an accusation against Russia.

Their effort to bring justice to the victims have taken more than 13 years.