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Default European Court Finds Russia Violated Rights Of Chess Star GarryKasparov

European Court Finds Russia Violated Rights Of Chess Star Garry Kasparov

October 11, 20166:18 PM ET
Rebecca Hersher

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia illegally
detained international chess star and opposition leader Garry Kasparov
in 2007.

In May of that year, Kasparov was trying to fly from Moscow to Samara,
in western Russia, to attend a march against the administration of
Russian President Vladimir Putin, planned to coincide with a summit
between Russia and the European Union. At 8:30 a.m. at Moscow's
Sheremetyevo airport, authorities confiscated his ticket and passport,
and then held him for five hours.

He missed the flight, and the protest march.

Kasparov first filed a complaint in a Russian court, saying his right to
free assembly had been infringed upon. The Russian government insisted
the police were conducting "a wider investigation into ticket forgery,"
according to the European court's decision.

The initial complaint was dismissed by the Golovinskiy District Court of
Moscow in 2007. An appeal in Russia was also dismissed, at which point
he took the case to the European Court of Human Rights, which is
composed of seven judges, one of whom is Russian.

The seven judges unanimously agreed that Kasparov had been illegally
detained, and that it amounted to "interference with his right to
freedom of assembly," noting the Russian government had not provided any
evidence to support the ticket forgery investigation claim.

Kasparov has devoted his time to Russian opposition politics since he
retired from international chess competition in 2005. He was the
highest-ranked chess player in the world from 1985 to 2005.

Since then, he has frequently and publicly criticized Putin. After the
Russian president's party swept 70 percent of the seats in a 2007
election, Kasparov accused the authorities of not only "rigging, but
also raping the democratic system." He was arrested with the opposition
punk group Pussy Riot in 2012.

Earlier this year he told Reuters, "Confrontation with Putin is
inevitable as long as he stays in office." He even wrote a book, the
subtitle of which is "Why Vladimir Putin and the enemies of the free
world must be stopped."

On Twitter, Kasparov said Tuesday that he was "obliged to stay out of
Russia" after being "jailed briefly." He is currently the chairman of
the Human Rights Foundation watchdog group, which is based in New York.
A Conversation with Chess Master Gary Kasparov

A Conversation with Chess Master Gary Kasparov

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