07 November 2006, Tuesday

The European Court of Human Rights will rule on a case regarding the disappearance of two family members in Chechnya on 9 November 2006, Stichting Russian Justice Initiative said today.  The case, Imakayeva v. Russia, concerns the detention and disappearance of Said-Khusein Imakayev and the subsequent disappearance of his father, Said-Magomed Imakayev, several months after Said-Khusein’s parents had filed an application with the European Court.


In mid-December 2000 Said-Khusein was driving to his home in Novye Atagi when he was detained by Russian forces at a roadblock. Several witnesses saw him being forced into a military vehicle that drove off in the direction of Novye Atagi. He has not been seen since, and the Russian authorities have failed to hold anyone accountable for his disappearance.


In February 2002 Said-Khusein’s parents, Said-Magomed and Marzet Imakayev, assisted by the Stichting Russian Justice Initiative, filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights. Four months later Said-Magomed was detained at his home by a group of armed men, and subsequently disappeared. The Russian government admits that Said-Magomed was detained by government forces, but maintains that he was released the same day. Marzet was later subjected to intimidating interrogations by the Russian authorities regarding her application to the Court.


The detention and disappearance of Said-Magomed Imakayev is a particularly egregious example of the kind of intimidation Chechen applicants face in their pursuit of accountability for human rights violations committed by federal forces in Chechnya. A September 2004 report by the International Helsinki Federation, The Silencing of Human Rights Defenders in Chechnya and Ingushetia, documented wide-spread harassment of clients and their friends or relatives, who run the risk of being verbally intimidated, beaten, detained, and in the worse cases, “disappeared” or killed. 


In October 2004, the Court gave priority to all cases from Chechnya due to concerns for applicants’ security.  


For more details on the case:

Admissibility decision

IHF and NHC: The Silencing of Human Rights Defenders in Chechnya and Ingushetia

Human Rights Watch: The 'Dirty War' in Chechnya: Forced Disappearances, Torture and Summary Executions

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