Chechen cases at the ECHR Prizes and Awards Precedent-setting cases

About Russian Justice Initiative

Russian Justice Initiative is a groundbreaking initiative that utilizes domestic and international legal mechanisms to seek redress for ongoing human rights violations in Chechnya and the North Caucasus.

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Latest News

Russian Justice Initiative seeks Grants and Finance Manager in Moscow

07/08/2014  The position is open to qualified women and men of any nationality. The ideal candidate should have an interest in non-profit management and development as well as a strong commitment to international justice and respect for human rights. Application deadline: 1 August 2014. Interested applicants should submit the following in English only to Short-listed applicants will be contacted for an interview. 


European Court finds Russian forces responsible for the disappearance of Chechen residents during the years 2000-2004

02/27/2014  The European Court has handed down a decision in the case of Dzhabrailov and others v Russia, Russian Justice Initiative and its partner organization, “Astreya,” reported today. The case originated in 9 applications joined by the Court in one judgment, in which Russia was once again found responsible for violations of the right to life and the obligation to conduct an effective investigation (Article 2 of the European Convention), the right to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment (Article 3), the right to liberty and security of person (Article 5), and the right to an effective remedy (Article 13). The Court awarded the applicants a total of over 900 000 euro in material and moral compensation for the violations suffered.


UN Women’s Rights Committee will consider the first case on domestic violence from Chechnya previously rejected by the European Court

02/21/2014  The United Nations Committee responsible for overseeing compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has communicated a case submitted by a victim of domestic violence in Chechnya.


ECHR Cases from the North Caucasus

Anayeva and Elmurzayeva v. Russia

02/27/2014  At the material time the applicants resided in Stariye Atagi together with their family, including Ziyavdi and Zayndi, the first applicant’s husband. On 21 April 2002 at around 7.30 a.m. a group of about fifty or sixty armed servicemen in camouflage uniforms arrived at the applicants’ house in APC no. 422 BB (422 ВВ) and two armoured infantry combat vehicles nos. 344 and 346. They were of Slavic appearance and spoke unaccented Russian. The servicemen broke into the house, arrested Ziyavdi and Zayndi, dragged them outside, put them in the APC and departed towards the outskirts of Stariye Atagi. In about a hundred metres, they had to let Zayndi go as he was having a stroke. Then the servicemen continued driving until they arrived at a windmill on the outskirts of Stariye Atagi where a Russian military unit was stationed. The applicants, their relatives and neighbours followed the intruders. When they approached the windmill, they saw the three abductors’ vehicles parked on the premises of the military unit. The visitors attracted the servicemen’s attention to this fact and the latter obscured the plates with mud. The deputy head of the Stariye Atagi administration was not allowed to enter the premises. At around 3 p.m. on the same day servicemen left the military unit in two APCs, one of which had registration no. 422 BB, a white VAZ-2106 car and a khaki UAZ “tabletka” minivan with blackened windows. They drove in the direction of Grozny. The applicants have not seen Mr Ziyavdi Elmurzayev since his abduction on 21 April 2002.


Vakhita Ibragimov and others v. Russia

02/27/2014  At the material time Mr Islam Ibragimov and Mr Apti Sadulayev resided in two neighbouring houses in Shali with the applicants and their respective families. On 17 January 2003 at 4 a.m. a group of armed and masked servicemen arrived at the applicants’ homes in seven APCs with obscured plates. They burst into the two houses, ordered everyone to lie down on the floor in unaccented Russian and checked the identity documents of Isman, Apti and the first applicant. Then the servicemen took them outside, along with the second applicant and Mr Rashid Sadulayev, Apti’s cousin, forced them into an APC, pulling their T-shirts over their heads, and drove away. A package dropped off from an CAP. One of the servicemen told the third applicant to look for their relatives at the ROVD. At first, Islam, the first and the second applicants were placed in the same APC with Apti and Rashid. After about twenty-five minutes the servicemen pulled over, took the arrested men outside, made them lie down on the ground, then put them back in the APC, save for Ilyas, who was put in another APC, and continued to drive. The servicemen drove Ilyas to Tsotsan-Yurt and released him. As to the other four arrested men, their APC pulled over again and the men were put on the ground, asked to say their names and then placed in a wagon. Forty minutes later the servicemen put Rashid and the first applicant in a URAL lorry and drove away. After about thirty minutes the two men arrived at a garage-like building where they were kept until 18 January 2003. According to the applicants, the two men must have been detained in a windmill in Staryie Atagi, which was used as a filtering point by Russian servicemen (see Arzu Akhmadova and Others v. Russia, no. 13670/03, § 195, 8 January 2009). After that, the men were taken in an APC to the vicinity of the town of Argun and released. In the days following the abduction, the applicants, their relatives and neighbours contacted various authorities. In particular, while in Khankala, Mr Khasin Abkayev met Generals Said-Selim Tsuyev and Ibragim Suleymanov, who promised their assistance, and Generals Abrashin and Pospelov, who said that the matter was not in their competence. Furthermore, Mr Bachal Baysuyev talked to Akhmed-Khadzhi Kadyrov and to General Makarov, both of whom promised to help to solve the matter within a week but failed to do so. According to them, a criminal investigation had been opened against Islam and Apti and the latter was being questioned by the prosecuting authorities. Mr Fedorov, the Shali military commander, confirmed this on local TV, adding that Islam and Apti were safe and sound. The applicants did not manage to obtain a copy of the TV programme. The applicants have not seen Mr Islam Ibragimov and Mr Apti Sadulayev since their abduction on 17 January 2003.


Tamayev v. Russia

02/27/2014  At the material time Mr Akhdan Tamayev lived together with his family and the applicant in the settlement of Roshni-Chu. The settlement was under curfew. According to enclosed documents, on 4-6 January 2001 Russian servicemen conducted a sweeping-up operation in Roshni-Chu. The operation’s head office was stationed on the outskirts. On 6 January 2001 at around 9 a.m. the applicant went to the local administration, taking Akhdan’s passport with him. A group of servicemen arrived at the applicant’s house and took Akhdan with them because he failed to show his passport. They put him in a GAZ-66 lorry and drove to the outskirts of Roshni-Chu. Akhdan’s wife, who witnessed the abduction, ran to the local administration, where she met the applicant and told him about the events. When the applicant returned home, Akhdan was not there. The house was surrounded by servicemen armed with machineguns, accompanied by the head of the administration, Mr Mamatsuyev. A serviceman took Akhdan’s passport and confirmed to the applicant that his soon would soon be released. Shortly thereafter Mr G.A. Gadzhiyev, the military commander for the Urus-Martan district, and Mr Z.K. Kuryayev, the head of the Urus-Martan ROVD, arrived at the spot. They informed the applicant that Akhdan would be taken to the ROVD for an identity check and released. On the same day the servicemen arrested two other residents, the brothers Muslim and Alikhan Movkayev. After their release that evening, the brothers informed the applicant that Akhdan had been arrested with them. The servicemen had taken the three of them to the outskirts of town in the GAZ lorry, kept them there until 5 p.m. and then took them to the ROVD. At around 6 p.m. Muslim and Alikhan had been released, whereas Akhdan had remained at the police station. On 7 January 2001 Mr Mamatsuyev told the applicant that he had gone to the ROVD, where he had been promised that Akhdan would be released at 10 a.m. on the same day. However, the applicant’s son was not released. On 5 February 2001 the applicant went to the police station. An officer informed him that Akhdan’s detention there had been registered and that he had been transferred to the premises of an FSB department. The applicant has not seen Mr Akhdan Tamayev since his abduction on 6 January 2001.