12 July 2006, Wednesday

The European Court of Human Rights will deliver its judgment in the first case concerning disappearances in Chechnya on 27 July, 2006, Stichting Russian Justice Initiative said today. The case will set important precedents for dozens of other cases concerning disappearances in Chechnya lodged with the European Court.

The case, Bazorkina v. Russia, concerns the detention and subsequent disappearance of Khadzhimurat Yandiyev during the take-over of the village Alkhan-Kala in Chechnya by Russian federal forces in February 2000. The detention, during which a Russian general ordered the execution of Yandiyev, was filmed by television journalists and later shown on both international and Russian television. Yandiyev has not been seen since.

The case was brought to the European Court by Yandiyev’s mother, Fatima Bazorkina, together with the British barrister Gareth Peirce and the organization Stichting Russian Justice Initiative. Bazorkina argues that the Russian authorities have violated the right to life (article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights), the prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment (article 3), the right to liberty and security (article 5), and the right to an effective national remedy (article 13). Despite overwhelming evidence that Yandiyev disappeared while in custody of the Russian federal forces, the Russian authorities have for more than six years failed to hold anyone accountable for Yandiyev’s disappearance.

Forced disappearances is an ongoing problem in Chechnya. According to the Human Rights Center Memorial, 127 people disappeared without a trace in Chechnya in 2005. Human Rights Watch has called the widespread use of forced disappearances a crime against humanity. In most cases of forced disappearance there are strong indications that members of federal and local security forces are involved.

For more information about the case:


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