Poland disappointed with European ruling over the 1940 Katyn massacre
(Reuters) - The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Monday it was incompetent to judge whether Russia’s investigation into the 1940 Katyn killings of Polish war prisoners was insufficient.
An estimated 22,000 Polish military officers and intellectuals were killed Katyn, western Russia, many of them trucked in from prison camps, shot in the head from behind, and shoved into mass graves.
After blaming Nazi Germany for the Katyn massacre for decades, the Soviet Union admitted in April 1990 that its forces were responsible. But none of the culprits has ever been identified and investigations have been shelved.
Relatives of those murdered by the Soviet secret police during World War II claimed that the 1990-2004 investigation by Russian authorities into the massacre was “inadequate”.
But the court said it lacked jurisdiction to judge on the matter because the Katyn massacre took place before the adoption of the European Convention on Human Rights in 1950.
“I can only say that we are rather disappointed by this verdict,” Deputy Foreign Minister Artur Nowak-Far said in a statement.
I can understand their frustration. After Poland was invaded by Hitler these people fled east hoping to fight on with the Red Army & were shot for their trouble.
I suppose the European Court’s decision may be technically correct (you’d have to ask an international lawyer) but it’s still disappointing.