ECHR Fines Russia About 400 Thousand Euros
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Russia 405.800 Euro over abduction of 6 Chechen men between 2001 and 2004.
Here is the press release:
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
ECHR 029 (2014)
The European Court of Human Rights has today notified in writing the following two judgments related with Chechnya.
Mikiyeva and Others v. Russia (nos. 61536/08, 6647/09, 6659/09, 63535/10, and 15695/11)
Z. and Khatuyeva v. Russia (nos. 39436/06 and 40169/07)
Both cases concerned the disappearance of the applicants’ relatives in Russia’s North Caucasus region after having allegedly been abducted by the Russian State officials.
The applicants in the first case are nine Chechen nationals who live in various settlements in the Russian occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. They are close relatives – daughter, son, wife or aunt – of five men, born between 1955 and 1983, who were abducted from their homes between 2001 and 2004 by groups of armed men wearing uniforms and speaking unaccented Russian, whom the applicants took to be Russian State servicemen. None of the applicants have seen their missing relatives since. The applicants complained about the abductions to law-enforcement bodies, and official investigations were opened. The proceedings were repeatedly suspended and resumed, and have remained pending for several years without attaining any tangible results.
The applicants in the second case are two Chechen nationals, one of whom, Ms Z., is a former resident of the Chechen Republic who now lives in Austria, while the other, Mrs Khatuyeva, lives in Grozny, the Chechen Republic. They are the sister and wife, respectively, of Zhamalayl Yanayev, born in 1961, who disappeared on 28 December 2004 in North Ossetia, where the family lived at the time. According to information collected by the applicants after the incident, Mr Yanayev was arrested at Beslan airport in North Ossetia after having checked in for a flight to Moscow by armed men in uniforms who appeared to be servicemen of the Regional Department for Combating Organised Crime. The family have not had any news of Mr Yanayev since then. In the weeks after his disappearance, they repeatedly contacted various public bodies, including the prosecuting authorities. On 10 February 2005 a criminal investigation into the abduction was opened. The investigation remains pending without having established Mr Yanayev’s fate or the identities of those responsible for his abduction.
Relying on Article 2 (right to life), the applicants in both cases complained that their respective relatives had disappeared after having been detained by State officials and that the Russian authorities had failed to carry out an effective investigation into the matter.
The applicants also complained of violations 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 of their respective relatives and the unlawfulness of their detention. They also argued that, contrary to Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), they had had no effective remedies at national level against the alleged violations, in particular those under Articles 2 and 3.
Violation of Article 2 (right to life) – in both cases, in respect of the applicants’ disappeared relatives
Violation of Article 2 (procedure) – in both cases, in respect of the authorities’ failure to investigate effectively the disappearance of the applicants’ relatives
Violation of Article 3 – in both cases, in respect of the applicants, on account of their relatives’ disappearance and the authorities’ response to their sufferings
Violation of Article 5 – in both cases, in respect of the applicants’ relatives, on account of their unlawful detention
Violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3 – in both cases
– in the case of Mikiyeva and Others: The Court awarded a total amount of EUR 9,000 (application no. 61536/08) and EUR 25,000 (no. 6659/09) in respect of pecuniary damage, EUR 60,000 per application in respect of non-pecuniary damage, and EUR 2,500 per application (except as regards application no. 15695/11: in this case, the applicant had not made any claim under this head) in respect of costs and expenses.
– in the case of Z. and Khatuyeva: the Court awarded Mrs Khatuyeva EUR 60,000 in respect of nonpecuniary damage, and EUR 1,800 in respect of costs and expenses.