24 May 2017, Wednesday

On May 24, 2016, Justice Initiative first heard from the mother of Malika T, who disappeared in October 2016 in Grozny. Malika T left her husband in the autumn of 2016 following repeated beatings, but was forced to return home in order to see her children. She had earlier reported that her husband beat her and filed complaints with the city’s prosecutor’s office. 

A while after returning home, she called her relatives to say that her husband’s brother had arrived, who was against her return, and that a new conflict was brewing in the family. After this, she no longer made contact and disappeared without trace. Her mother’s appeals to the prosecutor’s office, asking them to investigate the disappearance, went unanswered.

Lawyers from Justice Initiative plan to request the results of investigations into Malika T’s complaints about beatings and the response to her mother’s report of her disappearance.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case and not the first time that the authorities have taken no action to investigate the disappearance of victims of domestic violence in the North Caucasus. Justice Initiative has been handling the case of the Aliyeva sisters from Ingushetia for the last two years now.

In September 2015, Marem Aliyeva disappeared, just like Malika T. She had also made repeated complaints about beatings by her husband, Mukharbek Yevloyev. Yevloyev is known to have shaved Marem’s hair off and threatened to pour acid over her. The last time Marem made phone contact, she told her sister, Yelizaveta Aliyeva, about new beatings and threats from her husband. She was not seen again after this. Her whereabouts remain unknown today.

A criminal case into Marem Aliyeva’s murder was opened in September 2015, but no charges have been laid to this date. 

Lawyers from Justice Initiative sent an application to the ECHR for violation of articles 2, 3, and 14 of the Convention on Human Rights (right to life, prohibition of torture and prohibition of discrimination) in connection with the authorities’ refusal to take action regarding Marem Aliyeva’s complaints about the beatings she suffered at her husband’s hands, and lack of action to investigate her presumed murder. 

The abduction of Marem’s sister Yelizaveta in July 2015 is also connected to Marem’s tragic fate. For this crime, the Magas District Court sentenced Mukharbek Yevloyev to six years in prison, and his accomplice, Murad Paragulgov, received five years in prison. Search warrants are out for four other relatives of the accused, who also took part in the crime. The Magas court decision was handed down in February 2017.     

The Nazran Prosecutor’s Office has now requested the appeals court to overturn the sentence against Mukharbek Yevloyev and his accomplice Murad Paragulgov. The Ingushetia Supreme Court has twice postponed the hearing and is expected to hear the appeal of the sentence for the abduction of Yelizaveta Aliyeva at 10am on May 25, 2017.  

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