ECHR Finds Russia Responsible for the Disappearance of Five Men in Chechnya


Vakhayeva v. Russia (no. 27368/07)
Ilayeva and Others v. Russia (no. 27504/07)

The applicant in the first case, Tamara Vakhayeva, is a Russian national who was born in 1947 and lives in Urus-Martan (Russia).

The applicants in the second case are nine Russian nationals Yakhita Ilayeva, Larisa Ilayeva, Luiza Ilayeva, Dzhokhar Ilayev, Mariyam Ibragimova, Adam Ilayev, Pyatimat Ibragimova, Elizaveta Batayeva and Taus Islamova, who were born respectively in 1959, 1987, 1985, 1995, 1957, 1994, 1925, 1962 and 1936.

The cases concerned the applicants’ complaints that their relatives had been abducted in October 2001 and July 2004 and detained by State servicemen, and that the authorities had failed to effectively investigate their complaints.

In particular, the applicant in the first case lost her son, who was last seen on 5 October 2001, when he was allegedly forced into an armed vehicle after getting involved in a fight with military servicemen at a check point.

The applicants in the second case never saw their four relatives again after they were allegedly abducted from a house in which they were all sleeping on the night of 4 July 2004.

The applicant in “Vakhayeva v. Russia” is the mother of Ruslanbek Vakhayev, who was detained at the “Roshnya” checkpoint near the town of Urus-Martan, Chechnya in 2001, and subsequently disappeared. Ruslanbek Vakhayev was traveling in his friend’s car on 5 October 2001 when they were stopped at the “Roshnya” checkpoint near Urus-Martan for an identity check. The servicemen said they were detaining the driver, ordered them out of the car, and began beating the driver. Ruslanbek tried to intervene but the servicemen began beating him as well. The passage through the checkpoint was closed and the servicemen forced the two men into an APC which drove off in the direction of Urus-Martan town center. The applicant has had no news of her son since.

Despite several orders by supervising prosecutors to remedy shortcomings in the investigation and a decision from the town court finding the investigators negligent, the investigation made no progress.

The nine applicants in “Ilayeva and others v. Russia” are the close relatives of Inver, Adlan and Rustam Ilayev and Kazbek Batayev, who disappeared after being detained by Russian servicemen from Assinovskaya, Chechnya in 2004.

At about 4 am on 4 July 2004, a group of around ten masked servicemen broke into the house of Inver Ilayev in Assinovskaya and detained Inver, Adlan and Rustam Ilayev and Kazbek Batayev, who had all been staying in the village overnight after conducting repairs all day on one of the applicant’s houses. The servicemen cornered the four men’s relatives in one room and refused to let them out as they began beating the men and leading them out of the house. Later, neighbors reported to the applicants that they had witnessed the servicemen forcing the men into two APCs, which had driven off towards the “Kavkaz” checkpoint leading out of the village. The APCs had stopped at the checkpoint and the drivers had been heard talking to the servicemen manning the checkpoint. None of the four men were seen again. Adlan Ilayev was only 17 at the time of his disappearance.

Shortly after the abduction, several of the applicants visited the Chechen Minister of the Interior, who named the Russian military unit which in his opinion was likely responsible for the abduction. The applicants later obtained information that their relatives had been detained in a special military unit near Achkhoy-Martan, and that they were then transferred to the federal military base at Khankala. The investigation into the abduction of the four men failed to carry out basic steps and the applicants had very limited access to information on the progress of the investigation, despite having been granted victim status.

The applicants relied on Article 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), Article 5 (right to liberty and security) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy).

Violation of Article 2 (substance + investigation) – in respect of the applicants’ relatives
Violation of Article 3 – in respect of the applicants
Violation of Article 5 – in respect of the applicants’ relatives
Violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Article 2

Vakhayeva v. Russia: Just satisfaction: EUR 12,000 (pecuniary damage), EUR 60,000 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 2,500 (costs and expenses)

Ilayeva and Others v. Russia: Just satisfaction: EUR 11,500 to Yakhita Ilayeva, EUR 12,400 to Mariyam Ibragimova, EUR 11,900 to Elizaveta Batayeva and EUR 5,900 to the Taus Islamova applicant (pecuniary damage); EUR 60,000 to the Yakhita Ilayeva, Larisa Ilayeva, Luiza Ilayeva and Dzhokhar Ilayev jointly; EUR 60,000 to Mariyam Ibragimova, Adam Ilayev and Pyatimat Ibragimova jointly, EUR 60,000 to Elizaveta Batayeva and EUR 60,000.

Courtesy of: WaYNaKH Online

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