02 May 2016, Monday

The case materials show that on August 4, 2012, in the village of Komsomolskoye, Kizilyurt District, Republic of Dagestan, at around 2am, Adam Khairulayev was abducted, with numerous witnesses present, by armed, masked men dressed in camouflage gear. A criminal case was opened soon after, but the investigation was not conducted in effective fashion. The criminal case was unlawfully halted and resumed at least five times.   
The applicant, the abducted man’s mother, believes that Khairulayev perhaps fell victim to extra-judicial punishment and that the investigators did not conduct an effective investigation into his forced disappearance and probable death. The accusations include violation of the right to life, ineffective investigation, and suffering caused to family members by the authorities’ lack of action. 
The Justice Initiative project is representing the applicant’s interests in the European Court of Human Rights.
“The ECHR can establish whether the state has violated its obligations under the Convention and indicate the need for general or specific individual measures”, said Rustam Matsev, a lawyer with Russian Justice Initiative. “As a rule, in cases like this one, as with practically all others, the state authorities respect only their financial obligations to compensate the moral damage done. There is practically no hope for resuming and carrying out an effective investigation into disappearances involving force or bringing the guilty parties to justice after such a long time has passed. But there is hope that we can attempt to change the negative practice of disappearances involving force in the North Caucasus and lack of incentive to properly investigate such criminal cases through a quantitative indicator of this problem that is systemic in the region”.  
The practice of abducting people became widespread in the North Caucasus at the start of the 2000s after the conflict in Chechnya escalated and spilled beyond that republic’s borders. 
Human rights organization Human Rights Watch has documented 12 cases of such abductions between 2012-2014. Three people abducted by force remain missing and there has been no been news of them since their detention. 
According to statistics published by human rights centre Memorial, 10 similar cases were registered in 2013-2014. Lawyers have said repeatedly that it is difficult to prove in the ECHR the involvement of state agents because, unlike in Chechnya, no special territorial control regime in the form of a permanent antiterrorist operation is currently underway in Dagestan or the other North Caucasus republics.

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