ECHR Fines Russia More Than 950 Thousand Euro
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Russia about 954 thousand Euro over abduction of 14 Chechen civilians between 2001 and 2005; as well as killing another Chechen man in 2005.
Here is the press release:
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
ECHR 013 (2014)
Abdulayeva v. Russia (no. 38552/05)
The case concerned the Russian authorities’ refusal to hand over to their relatives the body of a presumed terrorist, who was killed in Chechnya in 2005. The applicant, Tamara Abdulayeva, is a Chechen national who was born in 1951 and lives in the village of Goyty of the Urus-Martan District of the Chechen Republic. She is the mother of Sultan Shotovich Vagapov, who was killed during a military operation in the Itum-Kalinskiy District of Chechnya in January 2005. The authorities informed Ms Abdulayeva of her son’s death, showing her a copy of his identity card and a photo of a dead body, and told her that he was a rebel whose body would be kept at a military base. Her subsequent requests to see the body and to have it returned to her were refused by the authorities, relying on the Russian legislation on the fight against terrorism.
Relying in particular on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), the applicant complained about the authorities’ refusal to hand over the body of her deceased relative. The applicant’s further relied on Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) in conjunction with Article 8, complaining that they had not had an effective remedy in respect of that decision.
Violation of Article 8.
Violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Article 8.
Just satisfaction: The Court dismissed the applicant’s claim for just satisfaction in respect of non-pecuniary damage. As regards costs and expenses, it awarded: EUR 6,289 to the applicant in the case of Abdulayeva.
Akhmatov and others v. Russia (nos. 38828/10, 2543/11, 2650/11, 2685/11, 7409/11, 14321/11 and 26277/11)
The applicants are 27 Chechen nationals who live in various districts of the Chechen Republic. The case concerned seven alleged abductions in Chechnya between 2001 and 2005. The applicants are close relatives – wives, children, parents, sisters or brothers – of 14 men who disappeared in various districts of the Chechen Republic after allegedly being abducted from their homes, most of them at night during curfew hours, by groups of armed men. The applicants believe that the abductors were Russian federal servicemen. Criminal investigations were opened in all seven cases. They were subsequently suspended on several occasions and remain pending without having established who was responsible for the abductions or where the applicants’ missing relatives had gone. 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’ ensuing investigations had been ineffective. The applicants further complained of a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and Article 5 (right to liberty and security), on account of the mental suffering caused to them by the disappearance and unlawful detention of their relatives. Lastly, the applicants complained that they had not had any effective remedy at national level in respect of their complaints, in breach of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy).
Violation of Article 2 (right to life) – in respect of the applicants’ 14 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: The Court awarded a total amount of EUR 82,000 (application no. 2543/11) and a total amount of EUR 46,000 (no. 2650/11) in respect of pecuniary damage, EUR 800,000 (total of the seven applications) in respect of non-pecuniary damage, and EUR 20,150 (total of the seven applications) in respect of costs and expenses.