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At least two lawsuits filed at a top European court claim Russia violated Europe’s Human Rights Convention by removing organs from the recently dead without telling relatives.

Russia’s response: Asking relatives’ permission would be “inhumane.”

Documents provided to The Associated Press detail how Russia is fighting charges over the way it harvests organs in two cases submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, last year. Separate decisions are expected in the coming months.

It is simply “inhumane” to ask family members about organ removal “almost simultaneously with notification of the death of their loved one,” Russia claimed in a July memo to the court. And there is not enough time to get consent before taking organs, government lawyers added.

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