17 May 2012, Thursday

On 17 May 2012 Russian Justice Initiative submitted observations to the Committee of Ministers under Rule 9 concerning individual measures in 11 cases in the Khashiyev group, including in three cases cited by the Committee’s December 2011 Interim Resolution (CM/Res/DH (2011) 292).

The submission notes several positive developments in the execution of the Khashiyev judgments (for example, greater willingness to grant access to case files and a progressive ruling on a complaint filed under Article 125 CCP) but we argue nonetheless that persistent shortcomings in the conduct of investigations continue on the whole to outweigh signs of progress. These problems include:

  • Inaccessibility of case materials despite access having been formally granted: the materials may turn out to be physically inaccessible due to their location, or access may be denied to certain materials due to their classification as secret, despite the fact that Russian law does not allow classification of documents which concern human rights violations. 
  • Various technical issues concerning processing of submissions by applicants and representation by counsel, resulting in further delays in the investigation.
  • Recourse to appeals under Article 125 of the criminal procedure code (CCP) does not positively impact the overall effectiveness of investigations, even when local courts deliver judgments partially in the applicant’s favor and which contain progressive interpretations of the obligation to implement judgments by the European Court (see submission at paras. 45-50).
  • Investigations are still routinely suspended even in cases of strong evidence.On 15 May 2012 the Russian Government submitted a report to the Committee to which we did not have enough time to reply in detail in the current submission. However, certain developments detailed in the report are particularly alarming in relation to the issue of individual accountability, and we urged the Committee to vocalize concerns in this regard during the June DH.
  • Read the full submission here. 

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