The European Court of Human Rights has found Russia responsible for deaths of two Chechen civilians and disappearance of one Chechen man in 2002, Russian Justice Initiative reported today.
The applicants in Nasukhanovy v Russia (no. 1572/07) are the parents and brother of Movsar and Movladi Nasukhanov who were killed in a course of a special operation carried out by the Russian military forces in the village of Starye Atagi, Chechnya. On 14 February 2002 Russian servicemen started carrying out checks of houses in an area close to where insurgents had been killed shortly before. The applicants’ house was searched three times by different groups of armed servicemen. The last group took away Movsar, Movladi and their brother Vakha to a military filtration point near a mill in Starye Atagi. Vakha was released two days later and had to be carried home; he could not walk due to being severely beaten during his time in detention. Six days after the detention, the parents went to the village of Mesker-Yurt where they identified the corpses of Movsar and Movladi, which had been burnt from head to waist, from their shoes and trousers. The investigation into the brothers’ deaths yielded no results, although the Grozny district Prosecutor’s Office found grounds to assume that the circumstances of the brothers death could have been “staged” in order to “hide evidence of a murder.”
The applicants in Dudarovy v Russia (no. 5382/07) are the parents of Magomed Dudarov who was apprehended on the night of 18 November 2002 in the village of Ken-Yurt, Chechnya. Around 2 a.m. on 18 November 2002 armed men in military uniform broke into the applicants’ house, and without producing any warrants or identification, took Magomed outside and put him into an Ural truck. They fired two shots in the air and drove off, accompanied by an armored reconnaissance vehicle (ARV). Magomed was never seen again and the investigation into his disappearance produced no results, despite crucial evidence being handed over to investigators at the scene.
In its unanimous judgments, the European Court found that:
- The right to life has been violated in respect of Movsar and Movladi Nasukhanov (Nasukhanovy), Magomed Dudarov (Dudarovy) [Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights];
- The Russian authorities have failed to conduct an effective investigation into the above violations [Article 2];
- The manner in which the applicants’ complaints were dealt with by the Russian authorities in both cases constituted inhuman treatment [Article 3];
- Movsar and Movladi Nasukhanov (Nasukhanovy), Magomed Dudarov (Dudarovy) were unlawfully deprived of their liberty [Article 5];
- The applicants did not have access to an effective remedy before the Russian authorities for the violations [Article 13 in conjunction with Article 2 of the Convention].
The applicants in both cases were awarded 160,000 euro in moral damages and were represented by the Russian Justice Initiative before the ECtHR.
For more information,
Vanessa Kogan: + 7 (495) 915-0869; +7 (925) 863-5111