Skip to content

Terrorist Hostage-taking and Human Rights: Protecting Victims of Terrorism under the European Convention on Human Rights

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numberngz002
Pages (from-to)149-171
Number of pages23
JournalHuman Rights Law Review
Issue number1
Early online date15 Feb 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 16 Jan 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 15 Feb 2019
DatePublished (current) - Feb 2019


The 2004 Beslan school siege by Chechen gunmen and the Russian responses to the attack demonstrated the tremendous impact a terrorist attack and a state’s anti-terrorist operations can have on the human rights of victims. The violations of the victims’ human rights were examined by the European Court of Human Rights in Tagayeva v Russia (2017), which this article argues is a landmark case in that the Court placed the human rights of victims at the centre of its concerns and reinforced the idea that states remain bound by the European Convention on Human Rights in large-scale anti-terrorist operations. The principal goal of this article is to examine the positive and procedural obligations of states towards the victims as outlined by the Court and to assess how this case might shape future responses to terrorist attacks. It will be argued that when states respond to a terrorist hostage-taking, they have to focus primarily on the human rights of hostages abducted within or beyond their borders on land or at sea.

    Research areas

  • anti-terrorist operations, Article 2 European Convention on Human Rights, hostage-taking, planning and control of security operations, right to life, Tagayeva v Russia



View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups