Striking photographs of human rights violations in former Soviet Union states, collected by the Middlesex University based European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC), are set to go on public display in Hendon (25-29 November).
The photo exhibition is part of the centre’s celebrations to mark 10 years of working with victims of some of the most significant and shocking cases of human rights violations, taking their cases to the European Court of Human Rights.
Photos include images from Chechnya and the North Caucasus, Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh, and tell the real-life stories of places like the Chechnyan village of Kogi which in 1999 was destroyed by two Russian military planes, of brothers Bekhan and Bashir Velkiyev who were tortured, and attacks on the villages of South Ossetia, Georgia.
The images will be available to bid for through a silent auction with the money raised being donated to EHRAC for the protection of human rights in the former Soviet Union.
The European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) is based at Middlesex University and has been working for the protection of human rights in the former Soviet Union since 2003, taking over 300 cases, mainly against Russia, to the European Court of Human Rights.
This has led to judgments in 102 cases including the first six judgments ever to be secured against Russia for gross violations in Chechnya. In total more than €6,500,000 has been awarded to the applicants in moral damages.
Director of EHRAC and Middlesex University Professor of Law Philip Leach said: "The stories behind these photos show that the European Court is providing real access to justice to some of the most vulnerable people on the continent. This process, for many, is critical in establishing what happened to them or their relatives, and who was responsible - especially for family members in Chechnya whose loved ones had been forcefully ‘disappeared’ or executed by the authorities.
“We want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the courage and indefatigability of the many human rights lawyers and NGOs in the region with whom EHRAC has worked over the decade. I am delighted to bring this exhibition to Middlesex University, to mark our 10 year anniversary and also the end of our first year at Middlesex."
The free exhibition takes place in Middlesex University’s Grove building atrium, The Burroughs, Hendon, NW4 4BT from 25-29 November.
Image: A former resident of Kogi holds pictures of her sons who died when Russian forces bombed the village.