Maryem Aliyeva disappeared without trace on September 19 2015 following a dispute with her husband Mukharbek Yevloyev, who had repeatedly beat her in the past. The European Court of Human Rights registered application No 18424/17 on this case, submitted by Maryem’s sister Yelizaveta Aliyeva.
“Maryem Aliyeva had complained to the authorities about the beatings, but they made no response”, said Olga Gnezdilova, a lawyer working for Justice Initiative. “Later, there was no proper investigation into her disappearance, which took place following a quarrel with her husband. The application that we sent to the ECHR states that our legislation lacks measures to prevent domestic violence and this puts women in a situation of discrimination”, she said.
A criminal case into Maryem’s presumed murder was opened only two weeks after her sister, Yelizaveta Aliyeva, reported her disappearance. The decision to recognize Yelizaveta as the plaintiff in the case came nearly two months later. The investigation has been going on for two years now but the missing woman’s sister has still not had a chance to see the investigation’s conclusions.
Mukharbek Yevloyev repeatedly threatened Yelizaveta Aliyeva and demanded that she withdraw her complaint to the police about Maryem’s disappearance. In this situation, Yelizaveta was forced to leave Ingushetia together with her children, but she continues the search for Maryem.
“The police ignored all of the complaints about domestic violence made by Maryem and Yelizaveta Aliyeva and opened no criminal case against Mukharbek Yevloyev”, said Olga Gnezdilova. “Maryem often fled her home but relatives always took her back again. In the summer of 2015, she fled her home together with her three children and travelled to women’s shelters first in Moscow and then in Minsk, but in August, her husband came and took Maryem and the children home. The law enforcement officials’ inaction resulted in her calling her sister on September 19 2015, after another quarrel with her husband, to say that Yevloyev threatened to ‘make her pay for her latest attempt to flee and for her complaint to the police’. Half an hour later, Maryem’s phone was already switched off. Yelizaveta headed to Maryem’s home and saw that her three children were sitting in the yard and crying. The children said that they’d seen their mother’s hair all bloodied. Yelizaveta went immediately to the police to report the crime. An investigation team from the Sunzhensky district office of the Interior Ministry questioned only the potential suspect Mukharbek Yevloyev. They did not inspect the house and left, concluding that there was no evidence to suggest that Yevloyev had used violence against Maryem”, Gnezdilova said.