Salatkhanovy v. Russia
The ECHR case of Salatkhanovy v. Russia (application no. 17945/03).
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Press release issued by the Registrar
SALATKHANOVY v. RUSSIA
Salatkhanovy v. Russia (no. 17945/03)
The applicants, Reyzilya Nasrudinovna Salatkhanova, and her husband, Movlid Yusup-Khadzhiyevich Salatkhanov, are Russian nationals who were born in 1951 and 1938 respectively and live in Dyshne-Vedeno (Chechen Republic).
On 17 April 2000 the applicants’ 16-year-old son, Ayub Salatkhanov, was walking towards the village market when a Russian serviceman, Ch., part of a military convoy, took aim at him and shot him in the heart. Ayub died on the way to hospital. A criminal investigation was launched following which Grozny Garrison Military Court found Ch. guilty of murder and sentenced him to ten years’ imprisonment. That judgment was upheld on appeal.
Relying on Articles 2 (right to life) and 13 (right to an effective remedy), the applicants complained about their son’s murder and that the authorities failed to carry out an effective investigation into their complaint.
The Court noted that the domestic investigation had been launched on the day of the shooting and, in the days that followed, the authorities had taken significant measures such as questioning numerous witnesses and examining the crime scene and the vehicles which had been part of the military convoy. That investigation resulted in a trial which led to Ch.’s conviction and imprisonment. The Court therefore found that the investigation had been effective and that the resulting conviction had amounted to acknowledgement by the authorities of a violation of Ayub Salatkhanov’s right to life. As regards redress, Ayub’s father had withdrawn his claim for damages in the criminal proceedings and, in any event, both applicants were still entitled to claim compensation in civil proceedings. The Court therefore held unanimously that the applicants could no longer claim to be “victims” of the alleged violation of Article 2. Given that finding, the Court held that no separate issues arose under Article 13. Finally, the Court noted that the Russian Government had submitted documents with detailed information on the progress and results of the investigation which had considerably facilitated its examination of the applicants’ case. The Court therefore held unanimously that there had been no failure to comply with Article 38 § 1 (a). (The judgment is available only in English.)