Dutch government to sue Russia before the European Court of Human Rights over downing of flight MH17

Pratik Purswani, International Affairs Officer

The Netherlands has decided to take Russia to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) over its alleged role in shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine nearly six years ago.
In July 2014, a Buk surface-to-air missile downed the MH17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lampur, which was allegedly fired from a territory controlled by pro-Moscow Ukrainian rebels. Although Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement, Dutch-led investigators claim to have proof that the Buk missile system that shot down the plane was brought from Russia.

In its statement, the Dutch Foreign Ministry said that by bringing this inter-State application, the government is “offering maximum support” by sharing all available and relevant information in “pursuit of truth, justice and accountability”. Foreign Minister Stef Blok added that achieving justice for all 298 victims is and will remain the government’s highest priority. The UN Security Council will also be notified of this step, the statement added. In the same breath, the Ministry also attached “importance to continuing the meetings with Russia on the matter of State Responsibility”.

There is also an ongoing criminal trial in the District Court of The Hague where three Russians and one Ukrainian are being tried in absentia, since the defendants have not been handed over to the investigators and Russia does not extradite its citizens. However, Russia, being a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, will be bound to respect any decision taken by the ECtHR.

Read the statement from the Dutch Foreign Ministry here: https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2020/07/10/the-netherlands-brings-mh17-case-against-russia-before-european-court-of-human-rights.

Find info on the Hague trial here: https://www.dw.com/en/mh17-trial-resumes-in-the-netherlands-after-coronavirus-delay/a-53727641.