On August 24 2016, SJI submitted a statement to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe regarding implementation of the decision in the case of Israilova and others vs Russia. The applicant’s son, Sharpuddin Israilov, disappeared in December 2002 from the territory of the Khankala military base in Grozny.
In its statement, SJI cautiously welcomes the efforts the Russian investigators are making to identify the remains of the applicant’s son but regret the unjustified secrecy surrounding the process and the lack of access to documents, which is preventing the applicant from receiving full information on the remains discovered. Given that the documents have been declared confidential by the military investigation office, neither the applicant nor her lawyer have access to the 11 documents concerning the process of ordering and conducting a forensic examination in this criminal case.
The statement to the Committee of Ministers also notes that in the case of disagreement with the forensic report’s conclusions, the applicant can appeal them, but to make effective use of this right the applicant and her lawyer must have full access to the documents concerning ordering and conducting the forensic work without any confidentiality restrictions. The applicant should also have timely access to these documents.
Finally, there is the paramount question of returning the remains to the applicant. According to the experts who conducted the forensic analysis in October 2015, the authorities are close to 100% sure that the remains discovered are those of the applicant’s son, but nonetheless, the remains have still not been handed over to the applicant for burial.
The full English-language text of the statement is available here.