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ECHR Fines Russia for Disappearances in Chechnya

Submitted by on Friday, 15 March 2013.    500 views No Comment
ECHR Fines Russia for Disappearances in Chechnya

The European Court of Human Rights has notified the following two judgments related with the abductions and disappearances of Chechen civilians.

Here is the press release:

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Press Release
ECHR 081 (2013)
14.03.2013

Alpatu Israilova v. Russia (no. 15438/05)
Avkhadova and Others v. Russia (no. 47215/07)

Both cases concern disappearances, in Dagestan and the Chechen Republic.

The applicant in the first case, Alpatu Israilova, is a Russian national who was born in 1955 and lives in Khasavyurt, Dagestan (Russia). She alleged that her husband, Yeraly Israilov, born in 1953, and their two sons were taken away from the family home on 19 October 2004 by Russian servicemen for questioning at the Gudermes military base in Chechnya. Her two sons were released four days later but her husband has never been seen since.

The applicants in the second case, Nurzhan, Limon, Luisa, Khava, and Kheda Avkhadova, are Russian nationals who live in Urus-Martan, the Chechen Republic (Russia). They are the mother and sisters of Vakhit Avkhadov, born in 1979, whom they have not seen since the early hours of the morning of 24 April 2001 when a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms broke into the family home in Urus-Martan and took him away. The only news they managed to obtain was allegedly from a Russian servicemen stationed not far away from Urus-Martan who confirmed that he had seen Vakhit Avkhadov being brought to the base and placed in a pit and later being taken away in a helicopter.

The applicants alleged in particular that their relatives had been unlawfully detained and must have subsequently been killed by Russian servicemen. They also complained that the ensuing investigation into their allegations had been inadequate. All the applicants
relied on Article 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of torture and of inhuman or degrading treatment), Article 5 (right to liberty and security) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy).

Ms Israilova also complained under Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life and the home) that the servicemen who had searched her house on 19 October 2004 had not showed her a search warrant. Lastly, she complained that she and her relatives had been repeatedly summoned to Gudermes military base in Chechnya for questioning in order to dissuade her from maintaining her application to the European Court of Human Rights, in breach of Article 34 (right of individual petition).

In the case of Alpatu Israilova:

Two violations of Article 2 (right to life + investigation)
No violation of Article 3 (ill-treatment + investigation – in respect of Yeraly Israilov)
Violation of Article 3 (mental suffering – in respect of the applicant)
Violation of Article 5 (in respect of Yeraly Israilov)
Violation of Article 8 (search carried out at the applicant’s home)
Violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3
No violation of Article 34
Just satisfaction: EUR 65,000 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 3,500 (costs and expenses)

In the case of Avkhadova and Others:

Two violations of Article 2 (right to life + investigation)
Violation of Article 3 (mental suffering – in respect of the applicants)
Violation of Article 5 (in respect of Vakhit Avkhadov)
Violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3
Just satisfaction: EUR 45,000 to Nurzhan Avkhadova and EUR 15,000 to the other four applicants jointly (non-pecuniary damage), and GBP 1,911.05 (costs and expenses)

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