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24 November 2016

The ECHR ruled partially in favour on the case of Saypudinov v. Russia and ordered the Russian authorities to pay compensation to the applicant

During their work on the case, Russian Justice Initiative’s lawyers noted numerous violations committed in drawing up the interrogation reports and the conduct of the various investigation procedures. An application on the case was sent to the ECHR in 2011. The application affirmed that Articles 3 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms were violated with regard to Supaydinov.

11 November 2016

Moscow’s Perovo District Court returns custody rights to the mother of five children

“In November 2015, the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women, in its comments on a report by the Russian Federation, noted that the idea in the North Caucasus that children ‘belong’ to the father means in practice that after divorce, women often lose all contact with their children”, said lawyer with Russian Justice Initiative Bike Gyulmagomedova. “Iman Khadzhimuradova’s case is thus not an exception but is a result of trends that Russia is supposed to combat. As yet, the situation has not changed, and after her divorce, Iman Khadzhimuradova was prevented from having any involvement in bringing up her children. This lack of contact with the children was the grounds the applicant then used to attempt to have Iman deprived of her parental rights. The Perovo District Court rejected the applicant’s demand”.

1 November 2016

Response to Russian Government memorandum on the case of Leyla Muruzheva sent to the ECHR

We received the Government’s commentaries, which included among the attached documents, among others, the explanations of the children’s father, who took them from Muruzheva”, said lawyer with Russian Justice Initiative Bike Gyulmagomedova. “His explanations state that the children are at a health resort with their grandmother and ‘new mother’. Let me recall that in June 2014, the Izmailovsky District Court ruled that the children should live with their mother, but they have not been returned to her. The bailiffs say that the children’s emotional state prevents the court decision from being executed. The children’s reaction is understandable, given their age (four and eight), the length of time they have been separated from their mother (more than two-and-a-half years now), and the hostile attitude their father and his parents, who are effectively raising the children now, take towards their mother. We think that in this case, the Russian authorities did not take all the timely action that we would have expected of them to ensure the court decision’s enforcement, and in this way, they violated the applicant’s right to respect for her family life, guaranteed in Article 8”.  

7 October 2016

Amur Khakulov, denied release from on health grounds by the court, has died in a Kirov Region prison colony

Amur Khakulov was found guilty of involvement in the attack on Nalchik in October 2005 (trial of the 58). He spent more than 10 years in remand prison No. 1 in Nalchik, waiting for trial and for the sentence to take effect. While still at the remand prison, he was found to be suffering from chronic kidney failure, chronic kidney disease and other illnesses at the end of 2014, but there was practically no treatment of serious illnesses at the remand prison. This prompted Khakulov’s wife to turn to lawyers at Russian Justice Initiative in August 2015. She said that Khakulov was not receiving qualified medical aid, or the prescribed medicines essential for his health.  

22 September 2016

RJI releases English translation of study on female genital mutilation in Dagestan

RJI releases English translation of study on female genital mutilation in Dagestan

The report is the first to examine the practice of FGM in contemporary Russia, and is based on field interviews with 25 women and 17 experts. The study found that FGM is performed on girls in certain mountainous districts of Dagestan, usually before the age of 3. However, the practice has largely remained hidden and public opinion on the local level, including that of religious leaders, concerning the legitimacy and necessity of the practice is far from unanimous. In the mountain districts, there is close to full support for the practice. 

7 September 2016

Ingushetia Supreme Court orders hospital to pay 1 million roubles to a mother who lost her child

“The court ordered the hospital to pay Makka Doskhoyeva 150,000 roubles as compensation for loss of the baby and loss of her reproductive function. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Ingushetia overturned the city court’s decision and ordered compensation of 1 million roubles”, said Rustam Matsev, lawyer with Russian Justice Initiative. Russian Justice Initiative is handling a number of cases concerning failure to provide medical assistance. The success criteria for such cases are set out in the section Our Partners and Joint Projects. 

24 August 2016

RJI reports to Committee of Ministers on identification of remains

On 24 August 2016 RJI made a submission to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoM) concerning the execution of the judgment in the case of Israilova and others v Russia. The applicant’s son, Sharpuddin Israilov, disappeared in December 2002 from Khankala military base in Grozny.

19 July 2016

The ECHR ruled a compensation payment of 1,500 euros to convicted person Murat Shavayev

The ECHR ordered 1,500 euros to be paid to the applicant as compensation for moral damages. The money must be paid within three months of the ruling coming into force.   Shavayev was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2007, the Moscow City Court found him guilty of involvement in the terrorist attacks on Avtozavodskaya metro station on February 6, 2004, and Rizhskaya metro station on August 31, 2004. In handing down the sentence, the Court cited confessions that Shavayev gave under torture. Lawyers at Russian Justice Initiative believe that the Court’s sentence and the evidence obtained by these means violate the applicant’s rights under Articles 3 and 6 of the Convention. Shavayev’s lawyers also noted violation of procedural obligations under Article 3 of the Convention, and therefore sent to the ECHR in 2008 an application on Shavayev’s behalf in connection with the violations cited above. The application is currently at the stage of being communicated to the Russian Government. 

1 July 2016

Russian Justice Initiative sent an application from South Ossetia to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

On July 1, 2016, Russian Justice Initiative sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, an application on behalf of the relatives of three South Ossetian victims of the 2008 Georgia-South Ossetia armed conflict. In the application, Russian Justice Initiative asked for the investigation framework to be expanded to, at a minimum, October 13, 2008. This would bring under the ICC investigation the disappearance of three young men in the conflict ‘buffer zone’ on October 13, 2008.

14 June 2016

Kirov region court to examine the possibility of releasing Amur Khakulov on health grounds

Russian Justice Initiative has handled Khakulov’s case since September 2015 in the national courts, and in September and then October 2015 applied to the ECHR in connection with Khakulov’s worsening condition. A series of measures and actions made it possible to ensure that Khakulov started receiving some medical treatment and Ketosteril in the Nalchik remand prison. Khakulov’s representatives and lawyers demanded that he receive regular medical assistance from kidney specialists, undergo kidney substitution treatment, and that a medical commission evaluate his state of health and that his sentence be revised in accordance with the conclusions.   

7 June 2016

The ECHR will examine Ayub Tuntuyev’s application under priority policy

Tuntuyev, in his most recent statement of May 20, 2016, said that he was taken from his cell and taken to be interrogated by an FSB officer who had already threatened him earlier when he was in Prison Colony 6. The FSB officer asked him who acted on his behalf to send an application to the ECHR. Subsequently, he was beaten and forced to sign 50 sheets of procedural documents, the contents of which were unknown to him. He was also forced to refuse the services of a lawyer.  “The investigator said that I must sign a document refusing the services of lawyer Tagir Shamsutdinov, who was protecting my interests. I made it known to the investigator that I did not wish to do this. The investigator did not insist. Later, the investigator left Prison Colony 6 and the FSB officers I mentioned above began making verbal threats and promised that I would have trouble”, Tuntuyev said.

3 June 2016

Yelizaveta Aliyeva filed a complaint with the court for inaction by police and investigators

On June 2, 2016, lawyers from Russian Justice Initiative sent to the court a complaint about inaction by Investigative Committee investigators and police officers in Ingushetia’s Sunzhensky District. Aliyeva asks the court to recognize the illegality of the law enforcement agencies’ inaction, which has gone on for nearly a year now. She states that indifference to the complaints of her sister, Marem Aliyeva, about domestic violence led to her probably murder.

31 May 2016

A statement on urgent measures taken in response to threats to the life of Ayub Tuntuyev has been sent to the ECHR

On May 28, 2016, Ayub Tuntuyev was transferred to an unknown destination, probably in Pyatigorsk (Stavropol Territory Department of the Federal Corrections Service Remand Prison No 2), to the location where investigations were taking place into the crimes that he confessed to after undergoing a beating and threats of rape.    

19 May 2016

The ECHR will examine Ayub Tuntuyev’s complaint about evidence obtained under torture

On May 18, 2016, Russian Justice Initiative sent to the ECHR an application defending the rights of convicted person Ayub Tuntuyev, who was forced to sign a confession to new crimes under torture. The authorities prevented lawyers from seeing Tuntuyev and the statement about torture was not properly investigated. While held in Prison Colony 6 in the village of Melikhovo, Vladimir Region, Tuntuyev signed on May 27, 2015, a confession to having taken part in armed combat in Chechnya and Dagestan in 2000-2005. Lawyers are certain that this confession was obtained under torture.

17 May 2016

The ECHR, acting under its priority policy, took only five months to communicate the application filed by Russian Justice Initiative on behalf of Leyla Muruzheva

On April 28, 2016, officers from the Shali District Interior Ministry Office, after a three-year custody battle, returned to Chechnya resident Elita Magomadova her 7-year-old son, who was abducted by her former husband in 2013. Magomadova also filed a complaint with the ECHR. Lawyers from Russian Justice Initiative handle a considerable number of similar cases in which courts rule in favour of the mother, but children are not handed back. Bailiffs not carrying out court decisions regarding return of children to their mother’s custody is systemic in a number of North Caucasus regions.  

3 May 2016

The ECHR will examine a complaint for violation of article 8 of the Convention for Human Rights in the case of Anzor Mashukov

Anzor Mashukov, one of those sentenced in the Case of the 58, was sentenced by the Kabardino-Balkaria Supreme Court to life imprisonment. The state accuses him of a number of serious crimes, participation in a criminal group, active involvement in an armed uprising, attempted murder of law enforcement officers, unlawful possession of weapons and other crimes. Anzor Mashukov was detained 6 months after the events of 2005. His lawyer, Olga Kelemetova, said that he was effectively abducted from the territory of another country – Abkhazia. 

2 May 2016

Examination of Adam Khairulayev’s case continues in the European Court

The case materials show that on August 4, 2012, in the village of Komsomolskoye, Kizilyurt District, Republic of Dagestan, at around 2am, Adam Khairulayev was abducted, with numerous witnesses present, by armed, masked men dressed in camouflage gear. A criminal case was opened soon after, but the investigation was not conducted in effective fashion. The criminal case was unlawfully halted and resumed at least five times.    The applicant, the abducted man’s mother, believes that Khairulayev perhaps fell victim to extra-judicial punishment and that the investigators did not conduct an effective investigation into his forced disappearance and probable death. The accusations include violation of the right to life, ineffective investigation, and suffering caused to family members by the authorities’ lack of action. 

17 March 2016

European Court grants interim measures for Nalchik accused

On 17 March 2016 the European Court for Human Rights satisfied the request of Russian Justice Initiative to order the application of urgent measures to the situation of Amur Khakulov, convicted in the context of the armed attack on Nalchik, currently suffering from kidney disease. The Court ordered the Russian government to immediately provide Khakulov with treatment via hemodialysis.

28 January 2016

Russia’s Supreme Court upholds sentence for convicted in 2005 Nalchik attack case

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has today upheld the verdict issued by the Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria in the criminal case concerning the 2005 attack on Nalchik, known as the “Trial of the 58.” The term of imprisonment was reduced by 6 months for all of the accused except those five who had previously received life sentences—Aslan Kuchmenov, Anzor Mashukov, Murat Bapinayev, Eduard Mironov and Rasul Kudayev. Russian Justice Initiative represented the interests of 12 defendants in the case in their appeals to the Russian Supreme Court and in their applications before the European Court of Human Rights, in which they alleged torture and cruel treatment as well as the denial of the right to effective counsel. At present, most of the complaints have been communicated to the Russian authorities.