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ECHR Fines Russia More Than 1.5 Million Euros

Submitted by on Friday, 11 October 2013.    124 views No Comment
ECHR Fines Russia More Than 1.5 Million Euros

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Russia more than 1.5 million Euros over kidnapping of 11 Chechen civilians between 2000 and 2005; and 3 Ingush civilians between 2002 and 2004.

Here are the press releases:

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Press Release
ECHR 293 (2013)
10.10.2013

The European Court of Human Rights has today notified in writing the following judgements.

Gakayeva and Others v. Russia (nos. 51534/08, 4401/10, 25518/10, 28779/10, 33175/10, 47393/10, 54753/10, 58131/10, 62207/10 and 73784/10)

This case groups ten applications concerning alleged abductions by Russian servicemen between 2000 and 2005 in broad daylight in various public places in Chechnya.

The applicants are 40 Chechen nationals from various districts of the Russian occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria who alleged that their close relatives had disappeared after being arrested by Russian servicemen in areas which had been under the full control of the Russian federal forces. None of the applicants have had any news of their missing relatives since.

They alleged in particular that:

Timerlan Soltakhanov, born in 1977, was shot in the leg on 7 June 2003 when a group of men in camouflage uniforms opened fire near Shali central market. He was then taken away in a grey UAZ minivan (application no. 51534/08);

Aldam Yesiyev, a taxi driver born in 1967, was grabbed by a group of masked, armed men in military uniforms on 19 September 2002, when he was parked at a taxi rank in the centre of Urus-Martan, and forced into one of their UAZ vehicles (no. 4401/10);

Khamzat Alimkhanov, born in 1972, and his brother-in-law, Sulim Khatulov, born in 1970, were walking to the bus station on 26 January 2001 in Komsomolskaya, which had been cordoned off during a special “sweeping operation”, when they were stopped for an identity check by Russian servicemen, detained and taken away in a Ural vehicle (no. 25518/10);

Akhmed Gazuyev, born in 1976, was arrested when walking to his aunt’s house in Urus-Martan on 25 December 2000 during a special operation conducted against a terrorist attack and was seen being driven away in a VAZ-2121 “Niva” car sitting between two military servicemen (no. 28779/10);

Usman and Valid Arzhiyev, two brothers, who were shepherds on the south-eastern outskirts of Avtury, disappeared on 3 May 2005, their sheep returning home without them. Later the same day their mother went to the military unit stationed at a local farm and saw her sons through the window of a brick-built storehouse, standing against a wall with their hands behind their backs. She was subsequently told that they had been transferred, probably to Khankala military base (no. 33175/10);

Khavazhi Elikhanov, born in 1977, was arrested by 15 to 20 masked armed servicemen on 4 November 2001 when walking along a street in Urus-Martan with two friends and taken away in a Ural lorry to the military commander’s office. One of Khavazhi’s friends was later released and the other’s body was returned to his family by the military (no. 47393/10).

Aslan Dzhamalov, born in 1979, was abducted on 9 July 2002 from a café in Grozny by a large group of armed, masked servicemen and, a plastic bag pulled over his head, was forced into a military vehicle. Two other men abducted from the café at the same time were later released, claiming that they and Aslan were tortured and that they had heard servicemen saying he had died (no. 54753/10);

Magomed Cherkasov, born in 1979, and Ayub Istamulov, born in 1981, were out picking mushrooms in a forest near Verkhniy Noyber on 30 April 2001 when they were detained by a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms. The abduction was witnessed by three local villagers (no. 58131/10);

Musa Vakhidov, born in 1976, was stopped by military servicemen for an identity check on 22 June 2000 when waiting at a bus station in the Chernorechye settlement in Grozny and, a plastic bag pulled over his head, was forced into an APC vehicle and driven off in the direction of Grozny (no. 62207/10).

Robert Musayev, born in 1974, was arrested on 8 May 2001 in his car at the Dachu-Borzoy market by a group of servicemen and bundled into an APC. According to a number of eye-witness accounts, he and his car were later seen at the local military commander’s office. The car was subsequently returned to his family, the interior completely burnt out (no. 73784/10).

Relying on Article 2 (right to life), Article 5 (right to liberty and security) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), all the applicants alleged that their relatives had disappeared after having been abducted and unlawfully detained by Russian servicemen and that the authorities had failed to carry out an effective investigation into their allegations. They further alleged a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) on account of the mental suffering caused by their relatives’ disappearances.

Robert Musayev’s father and sisters further complained, under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property), about the unlawful seizure and damage to his car and, under Article 38 (obligation to furnish necessary facilities for the examination of the case), about the Government’s failure to provide documents from the investigation file into the case.

Violation of Article 2 (right to life) – in respect of the applicants’ relatives
Violation of Article 2 (procedure) – in respect of the failure to investigate effectively the disappearance of the applicants’ relatives
Violation of Article 3 – in respect of the applicants, on account of their relatives’ disappearance and the authorities’ response to their suffering
Violation of Article 5 – in respect of the applicants’ relatives, on account of their unlawful detention
Violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3
Violation of Article 1 of Protocol 1 – in respect of application no. 73784/10
No violation of Article 38

Just satisfaction (per application): Between EUR 15,000 and EUR 64,000 in respect of pecuniary damage, between EUR 60,000 and EUR 120,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage and between EUR 3,500 and EUR 4,500 in respect of costs and expenses.

***

Yandiyev and Others v. Russia (nos. 34541/06, 43811/06 and 1578/07)

The applicants are six Russian nationals born between 1941 and 2003 who live in Karabulak and Malgobek (Ingushetia, Russia), and Grozny (Chechnya, Russia). They are the close relatives of three men who disappeared after having been apprehended in Ingushetia in 2002 and 2004 by armed men in uniforms whom the applicants identified as Russian security forces. In particular: Timur Yandiyev, born in 1979, whose parents, wife and daughter lodged the first application, was abducted in Nazran in March 2004; Adam Bersanov, born in 1977, whose mother lodged the second application, was abducted in Malgobek in December 2004; and, Adam Arsamikov, born in 1959, whose wife lodged the third application, was abducted in Karabulak in October 2002. In each case a criminal investigation file was opened by the local prosecutor’s office. The proceedings were subsequently suspended and resumed on several occasions; they remain pending without having produced tangible results as to the whereabouts of the missing men or the identity of the abductors. Relying on Article 2 (right to life), the applicants complained that their relatives had disappeared after having been detained by State officials and that the authorities had failed to carry out an effective investigation of the circumstances. They further alleged a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), on account of their mental suffering caused by their relatives’ disappearance, and a violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security), on account of the unlawful detention of their relatives. They finally complained of a breach of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), as they had had no effective remedies in respect of their complaints under Articles 2 and 3.

Violation of Article 2 (right to life) – in respect of the applicants’ relatives
Violation of Article 2 (procedure) – in respect of the failure to investigate effectively the disappearance of the applicants’ relatives
Violation of Article 3 – in respect of the applicants, on account of their relatives’ disappearance and the authorities’ response to their suffering
Violation of Article 5 – in respect of the applicants’ relatives, on account of their unlawful detention
Violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3

Just satisfaction (per application): Between EUR 7,800 and EUR 23,000 in respect of pecuniary damage, between EUR 45,000 and EUR 60,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage, and EUR 2,500 in respect of costs and expenses.

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