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Russian Federation: Supreme Court upholds sentence against Beslan hostage taker

On 26 December, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the life sentence of Nurpashi Kulayev, convicted for his involvement in the 2004 hostage-taking at a school in Beslan, in which 344 civilians, mostly children, were killed along with 31 hostage-takers. On 22 December, a Parliamentary Commission concluded that the hostage-takers were responsible for the explosion at the school, which triggered the violence and killings. The Commission’s conclusions contradict an earlier account by an expert who participated in the inquiry, which alleged that Russian security forces were responsible for the initial explosion.

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