01 November 2016, Tuesday

Lawyers from Russian Justice Initiative sent to the ECHR a response to the Russian Government memorandum on the case of Leyla Muruzheva, who has not had her children returned to her even after a court ruled in her favour.

Leyla Muruzheva lives and works in Moscow and has two children. She and her former husband had two children. The couple officially divorced in March 2014, but failed to reach an agreement on with whom the two children would live. In January 2014, Muruzheva’s former husband took the children to Ingushetia, where he left them with his parents, and himself returned to Moscow. The son was 4.5 years’ old and the daughter 1.5 years’ old at the moment they left for Ingushetia. In March 2014, Leyla Muruzheva applied to the court to get a decision on where the children should live. Seeing the failure of her attempts to restore contact with the children, Muruzheva turned to Russian Justice Initiative for help. The ECHR communicated the application filed by Russian Justice Initiative on Muruzheva’s case under the priority policy in May 2016.

We received the Government’s commentaries, which included among the attached documents, among others, the explanations of the children’s father, who took them from Muruzheva”, said lawyer with Russian Justice Initiative Bike Gyulmagomedova. “His explanations state that the children are at a health resort with their grandmother and ‘new mother’. Let me recall that in June 2014, the Izmailovsky District Court ruled that the children should live with their mother, but they have not been returned to her. The bailiffs say that the children’s emotional state prevents the court decision from being executed. The children’s reaction is understandable, given their age (four and eight), the length of time they have been separated from their mother (more than two-and-a-half years now), and the hostile attitude their father and his parents, who are effectively raising the children now, take towards their mother. We think that in this case, the Russian authorities did not take all the timely action that we would have expected of them to ensure the court decision’s enforcement, and in this way, they violated the applicant’s right to respect for her family life, guaranteed in Article 8”.  

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