Russia

Council of Europe: Six complaints against Russia concerning events in Chechnya declared admissible

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EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
022
Press release issued by the Registrar
In three separate decisions the European Court of Human Rights (First Section) has declared admissible the applications lodged in the cases of Khashiyev v. Russia (no. 57942/00), Akayeva v. Russia (57945/00), Isayeva v. Russia (no. 57947/00), Yusupova v. Russia (no. 57948/00), Bazayeva v. Russia (no. 57949/00) and Isayeva v. Russia (no. 57950/00). The Court decided in addition that the Government's preliminary objection that the applicants had failed to exhaust their domestic remedies was closely linked to the merits of the complaints and should therefore be considered together with the merits at the next stage of the proceedings.

The applicants allege violation of their rights by the Russian military in Chechnya in 1999-2000. In a Chamber decision, which has today been notified to the parties, the Court declared admissible the applicants' complaints under Article 2 (right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment), Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention (protection of property).

Copies of the decisions, which are available only in English, can be found on the Court's Internet site (http://www.echr.coe.int). Judgment will be delivered at a later date.

The applicants

All the applicants are Russian nationals, residents of Chechnya. Khashiyev Magomed Akhmetovich was born in 1942, Akayeva Rosa Aribovna was born in 1955, Isayeva Medka Chuchuyevna was born in 1953, Yusupova Zina Abdulayevna was born in 1955, Bazayeva Libkan was born in 1949. These applicants were residents of Grozny up to 1999, and are currently staying in Ingushetia. Isayeva Zara Adamovna was born in 1954 and lived in Katyr-Yurt, Chechnya, up to 2000, when she also moved to Ingushetia.

Summary of the facts

Applications nos. 57942/00 and 57945/00, which were joined by the Court on 11 July 2000, concern allegations of torture and extra-judicial executions of the applicants' relatives by the members of the Russian army in Grozny at the end of January 2000. The bodies of the first applicant's brother, sister and two of the latter's sons and the second applicant's brother were found with numerous gunshot wounds. A criminal investigation, opened in May 2000, was suspended and reopened several times, but the culprits were never identified.

Applications nos. 57947/00, 57948/00 and 57949/00, joined by the Court on 11 July 2000, concern allegations of indiscriminate bombing on 29 October 1999 by Russian military planes of civilians leaving Grozny. As a result of the bombing, the first applicant was wounded, her two children and daughter-in-law were killed, the second applicant was wounded and the third applicant's car containing the family's possessions was destroyed. A criminal investigation into the bombardment was opened in May 2000, but was later closed. Appeal proceedings against the decision to close the investigation are pending before a military court in Rostov-on-Don.

Application no. 57950/00 concerns allegations of indiscriminate bombing by the Russian military of the village of Katyr-Yurt on 4 February 2000. As a result of the bombing, the applicant's son and her three nieces were killed. Following the communication of the complaint to the Russian Government, a criminal investigation was opened in September 2000, but later closed. Appeal proceedings against this decision are pending before a military court in Rostov-on-Don.

Complaints

Khashiyev Magomed and Akayeva Roza complain that their relatives were tortured and murdered by members of the Russian army. They also complain that the investigation into their deaths has been ineffective and that they have had no access to effective remedies at national level. They invoke Articles 2, 3 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Isayeva Medka, Yusupova Zina and Bazayeva Libkan complain that their relatives' and their own rights to life and to protection from inhuman and degrading treatment were violated. Bazayeva Libkan, in addition, complains that the destruction of her car containing the family's belonging constituted an infringement of her property rights. The applicants also complain that the investigation was ineffective and that they had no access to effective remedies on the national level. They invoke Articles 2, 3 and 13 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1.

Isayeva Zara complains that her relatives' right to life was violated. She also complains that the investigation was ineffective and that she had no access to effective remedies. She invokes Articles 2 and 13 of the Convention.

Procedure

The above applications were lodged in April and May 2000. On 11 July 2000 the Court commenced its consideration of the cases.

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Registry of the European Court of Human Rights

F - 67075 Strasbourg Cedex

Contacts:
Roderick Liddell (telephone: +00 33 (0)3 88 41 24 92)
Emma Hellyer (telephone: +00 33 (0)3 90 21 42 15)
Stéphanie Klein (telephone: +00 33 (0)3 88 41 21 54)

Fax: +00 33 (0)3 88 41 27 91

The European Court of Human Rights was set up in Strasbourg in 1959 to deal with alleged violations of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. On 1 November 1998 a full-time Court was established, replacing the original two-tier system of a part-time Commission and Court.

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