15 May 2012, Tuesday On 15 May 2012 the Russian Government submitted a comprehensive report to the Committee of Ministers. Along with a small report on general measures, the submission provides an update on investigative measures undertaken post-ECtHR judgment in 13 cases, by far the most comprehensive update on specific cases ever provided to the Committee.

The provision of information by the Government is to be welcomed; however, much of the information provided on specific cases, including on the six cases mentioned in the Committee of Ministers’ December 2011 Interim Resolution, gives cause for serious concern. Many of the 13 cases reported on by the Government contain very strong evidence as to the identity of the perpetrators or the military units to which they belonged. However, investigations in these cases still fail to make concrete progress in terms of locating suspects.

 Furthermore, in the one case from the North Caucasus to date in which a suspected perpetrator was arrested, Sadykov v Russia, the Government reports that he was found guilty but that an amnesty was applied in respect of him. Given the dynamic of the investigation in this case, the application of an amnesty does not comply with any notion of accountability for the violations.

In the Abuyeva case, the Government reports that the investigation was closed. This gives cause for particular concern given that in the Abuyeva judgment the Court, for the first time in a case from Chechnya, deplored Russia’s lack of implementation of the Court’s judgment in Isayeva in relation to the continued ineffectiveness of the domestic investigation into the violations.

 In the area of general measures, the Government reports on the creation of a genetic database and on the collection of DNA from relatives of the missing. The creation of a such a database is a positive development, but without a parallel effort to locate and exhume mass graves, the number of missing persons in Chechnya and other parts of the North Caucasus is not likely to decrease.

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