European Court of Human Rights Condemns Russia in Three Cases from Chechnya
On 28 May the European Court of Human Rights today unanimously condemned Russia for human rights violations in three cases from Chechnya.
Nenkayev and Others v. Russia (13737/03) concerns the disappearance of Muslim Nenkayev. Muslim and his brother Isa were abducted from their family home in the town of Urus-Martan by a large group of Russian military servicemen in the night of 8 June 2002. The brothers were blindfolded and escorted through Urus-Martan to the military commanders office. Isa was released and returned home after 24 hours but Muslim remains missing.
The applicants in Basayeva and Others v. Russia (15441/05 and 20731/04) are relatives of Lecha Basayev and Lema Dikayev. Both men were abducted from their family homes in the village of Martan-Chu by Russian military servicemen in the early hours of 6 July 2002. Lema was badly beaten at the time of his detention. There has been no news of the two men since.
In Khumaydov and Khumaydov v. Russia (13862/05) the Court faulted Russia for the ineffective investigation into the disappearance of Khava Magomadova, who disappeared on her way to work in the village of Chervlennaya in the morning of 16 December 2002. It did not, however, find that it had enough evidence to rule that Russian servicemen were responsible for Khavas disappearance.
In todays judgments the ECtHR unanimously held that:
The right to life has been violated in respect of the Muslim Nenkayev, Lecha Basayev and Lema Dikayev who must be presumed dead (violation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights);
The Russian authorities had failed to conduct effective investigations in all three cases (violation of Article 2);
Muslim Nenkayev, Isa Nenkayev, Lecha Basayev and Lema Dikayev had been illegally detained (violation of Article 5);
The beating of Lema Dikayev at the time of his detention amounted to ill-treatment (violation of Article 3)
The manner in which the complaints of the applicants in the first two cases were dealt with by Russian authorities constituted inhuman treatment (violation of Article 3);
The applicants in the first two cases did not have access to an effective remedy before Russian authorities for the violations (violation of Article 13);
In the case of Nenkayev and Others the Court further held that the refusal of the Russian authorities to submit the documents of the criminal case file constituted a failure to assist the Court in its investigation (violation of Article 38).
The Court awarded the applicants in the three cases a total of 124,650 euro for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages.
The applicants were assisted in bringing their applications to the Court by Russian Justice Initiative.