21 December 2016
The ECHR ordered payment of 1.5 million euros in compensation in 2016 in cases represented by Russian Justice Initiative
Russian Justice Initiative decided to broaden the number of regions where it is active primarily in order to develop its work on protecting women’s rights, and now takes reports of violations of the Convention in this area from any Russian region. Russian Justice Initiative received 1,000 applications from the North Caucasus, Stavropol and Krasnodar territories, and Astrakhan, Volgograd, Irkutsk, Moscow and Rostov regions, including via the online service, and the organisation’s lawyers gave more than 800 legal consultations.
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.
22 November 2016
The ECHR ordered 1,129,000 euros in compensation paid to the relatives of individuals who disappeared during special operations in Mesker-Yurt
The special operation began in the village of Mesker Yurt on May 21, 2002. Troops arrived by helicopter and were later joined by units that had conducted a special operation in the village of Avtury. From this date, all residents of Mesker Yurt were unable to leave the village and were blockaded there until June 11, 2002. Human rights activists and journalists who were in the village say that more than 30 people were killed or disappeared. Human rights activists’ information shows that at least 12 Mesker Yurt residents had been killed by the start of June. The Court ordered 1,129,000 euros to be paid as compensation in 16 cases of abducted Chechnya residents (169,000 euros for material damages and 960,000 euros for moral damages).
11 November 2016
“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
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
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
“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.
5 September 2016
Tuntuyev states that prison staff at Prison Colony 6 beat him and tortured him with electric shocks on May 26-27, 2015, in order to obtain confessions and force him to refuse his lawyer’s assistance. Later, at the prison colony’s medical unit, personnel cut the injured skin from his heels in order to hide the traces of torture. Pressure was kept up on Tuntuyev throughout the following year, and on May 17, 2016, concrete threats were made against him. He was 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.
24 August 2016
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.
29 July 2016
Sixteen people who were tortured during the case of the attack on Nalchik have sent applications to the ECHR
Five of the 57 accused were sentenced to life imprisonment: Anzor Mashukov, Aslan Kuchmenov, Rasul Kudayev, and Eduard Mironov. Two of the accused died during the trial: Valery Bolov and Muradin Kardanov. Another of them, Sergei Kaziyev, died while waiting for the appeal ruling, and another, Murat Kashirgov, died after arriving in a Khabarovsk Territory prison colony to serve his sentence.
19 July 2016
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
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
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.
7 June 2016
“In court, the in-laws stated that Magomadova was avoiding her childrearing duties, but we know that they prevented any attempt on her part to have contact with the children. They did not let her into the house to the children, and in some instances, they beat her when she tried to enter the house”, said lawyer with Russian Justice Initiative Olga Gnezdilova. “Her in-laws succeeded in overturning the court decision giving custody of the children to the mother, with the result that the children’s uncle, her late husband’s brother, was appointed the children’s guardian”.
3 June 2016
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.
26 May 2016
Now, news has emerged of another incidence of beating. On May 17, at 10am, two men entered Tuntuyev’s cell and put a blindfold on him. “One of them dealt me 4-5 blows to the kidneys”, Tuntuyev told lawyers. “Then one of the two said, ‘Others will come to see you today and you will sign everything they give you to sign’. They also assured me that if I refused to sign the documents, I would be raped and then I’d be fed poisoned food. After these words, one of them hit me again on the head with his fist, and dealt me two blows in the chest with his knee. I agreed to their demands to sign all the documents.” The result was that Tuntuyev signed more than 50 sheets of procedural documents, including a document refusing his lawyer, Tagir Shamsudinov.
19 May 2016
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.