Doc. 12276 4 June 2010 Legal remedies for human rights violations in the North-Caucasus Region




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2 Draft resolution adopted unanimously by the committee on 31 May 2010.

3 Draft recommendation adopted unanimously by the committee on 31 May 2010.

4 References Nos. 3277–3243 of 26 June 2006 and 3633 of 25 January 2010, modified on 29 January 2010.

5 See document AS/Jur (2007) 15.

6 See document AS/Jur (2007) 42.

7 Document AS/Jur (2008) 21 http://assembly.coe.int/CommitteeDocs/2008/20080411_ajdoc21_2008.pdf.

8 Document AS/Jur (2009) 43, http://assembly.coe.int/CommitteeDocs/2009/ajdoc43_2009.pdf.

9 See programme of the visit in Appendix III.

10 Doc. 9732 of 13 March 2003; see Resolution 1323 (2003) and Recommendation 1600 (2003).

11 Doc. 10283 of 20 September 2004; see Resolution 1403 (2004) and Recommendation 1679 (2004).

12 Doc. 10774 of 4 January 2006; see Resolution 1479 (2006) and Recommendation 1733 (2006).

13 See the report of his visit (2-11 September 2009) – CommDH(2009)36, http://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1543437.

14 Russia’s ‘silent war’ spills into Moscow, Reuters, 1 April 2010.

15 See the report of debates, AS (2009) CR32.

16 Long ago Mikhail Yurevich Lermontov (1814-1841), in his Cossack Lullaby, spoke of the 'Evil Chechen, crawling along the riverbank, sharpening his knife'. It is alleged that this unflattering portrayal of the 'rebellious and thieving Chechen' has been perpetrated by the presidents Yeltsin and Putin, according to Grégoire Hervouet-Zeiber in a study presented at Montreal University: Articulation entre les guerres tchétchènes et la politique étrangère russe dans les discours des présidents Boris Eltsine (1994 -1996) et Vladimir Poutine (2000 – 2003) [Links between the Chechen wars and Russian foreign policy in the statements of presidents Boris Yeltsin (1994 -1996) and Vladimir Putin (2000 – 2003)], August 2008: www.archipel.uqam.ca/1132/1/M10544.pdf.

17 What drives these women, often of a very young age, to commit such insane actes? This is the question which a Russian journalist tries to answer as she sketches the portraits of these suicide bombers: Yulia Yuzik, The brides of Allah – The tragedy of Chechen female suicide bombers, 2003.

18 See Kommersant No. 216(4033) of 27 November 2008, quoted in an article by Svetlana Gannushkina dated 3 December 2008 ("The right to be a human being").

19 See Komsomolskaya Pravda of 24 September 2008, interview with Alexander Grymov, quoted by Svetlana Gannushkina (note 18).

20 The Committee against Torture, whose headquarters are in Nizhniy Novgorod (see www.pytkam.net).

21 We obtained, by way of example, a copy of the correspondence in the case concerning the murder of Mrs Saidullayeva, an employee of the Danish Refugee Council in Grozny, revealing the protests of the investigators working on the investigative committee regarding the failure of the police to carry out inquiries targeting certain law enforcement structures.

22 In particular, he came to the fore in Kosovo, at the head of a column of tanks taking control of Pristina airport in order to provide relief for the Kosovan Serb population, "right under NATO's nose" (Le Monde of 18 December 2009).

23 There is a most interesting document covering these aspects, the report by the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of 7 April 2006 by our colleague Anne Brasseur, Cultural diversity of the North Caucasus (Doc. 10869).

24 A stalinist-style personality cult is the conclusion of two separate assessments published by The Independent on 12 January 2007 and by Le Point on 19 November 2009 (No. 1939).

25 See the article by Philip Leach, “The Chechen Conflict: Analysing the Oversight of the European Court of Human Rights”, in: European Human Rights Law Review, Issue 6, 2008.

26 Isayeva, Yusupova and Bazayeva v. Russia, Applications Nos. 57947/00, 57948/00 and 57949/00, judgment of 24 February 2005.

27 Bazorkina v. Russia, Application No. 69481/01, judgment of 27 July 2006; Imakayeva v. Russia, Application No. 7615/02, judgment of 9 November 2006 ; Alikhadzhiyeva v. Russia, Application No. 68007/01, judgment of 5 July 2007.

28 Khashiyev and Akayeva v. Russia, Applications Nos. 57942/00 and 57945/00, judgment of 24 February 2005; Estamirov and others v. Russia, Application No. 60272/00, judgment of 12 October 2006; Luluyev and others v. Russia, Application No. 69480/01, judgment of 9 November 2007; Musayev and others v. Russia, Applications Nos. 57941/00, 58699/00 and 60403/00, judgment of 26 July 2007.

29 Chitayev v. Russia, Application No. 59334/00, judgment of 18 January 2007.

30 Imakayeva v. Russia, Application No. 7615/02, judgment of 9 November 2006; Bitiyeva and X v. Russia, Applications Nos. 57953/00 and 37392/03, judgment of 21 June 2007.

31 See, for example, Bazorkina v. Russia, Application No. 69481/01, judgment of 27 July 2006, paragraph 141, and Imakayeva v. Russia, Application No. 7615/02, judgment of 9 November 2006, paragraph 166.

32 Baysayeva v. Russia, Application No. 74237/01, judgment of 5 April 2007; the press release issued by the Registrar states that "the investigation was opened only on 10 May 2000. When the investigation did begin, it was plagued by inexplicable delays in performing the most essential tasks. … Moreover, the videotape was available to the authorities as far back as 2000. The Court found it astonishing that in February 2006 the persons depicted in it had still not been identified by the investigation, let alone questioned" (paragraph 128).

33 Isigova and others v. Russia, Application No. 6844/02, judgment of 26 June 2008, paragraph 109:



"The Court considers that in the circumstances of the present case where the identities of the detachments and their commanders involved in the abduction of the applicants' relatives were established by the domestic investigation, the failure to bring charges may only be attributed to the negligence of the prosecuting authorities in handling the investigation and their reluctance to pursue it. The Court finds it appalling that after the commander of the detachment that had apprehended Apti Isigov and Zelimkhan Umkhanov had been identified, the investigation was repeatedly suspended on the grounds of the failure to identify the alleged perpetrator or to ensure the suspect's participation in the proceedings. Such a manner of proceeding offered no prospect of bringing those responsible for the offence to account or of establishing the fate of the applicants' relatives."

34 Khatsiyeva and others v. Russia, Application No. 5108/02, judgment of 7 July 2008, see inter alia paragraphs 146 and 147.

35 Quoted from the press release issued by the Court’s Registrar on 17 January 2008.

36 Aziyevy v. Russia, Application No. 77626/01, judgment of 20 March 2008, see inter alia paragraphs 77 and 78.

37 Ibid., paragraph 78: “The authorities’ behaviour in the face of the applicants’ well-substantiated complaints gives rise to a strong presumption of at least acquiescence in the situation and raises strong doubts as to the objectivity of the investigation.”

38 See, for example, the "chronicles of violence" regularly published by the "Memorial" human rights centre.

39 I have not yet received the updated list requested.

40 The list of cases raised can be found in Appendix I.

41 This is the terminology used by the authorities we spoke to at all levels

42 Replies by the Investigative Committee of the Chechen Republic to questions from Mr Dick Marty, Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights Rapporteur on legal remedies for human rights violations in the North Caucasus, ref. 03.2010, No. 396-216/2-10 dated 30 March 2010 (32 pages); Briefing paper on the progress of the work of the law enforcement agencies in combating the abduction of individuals in Dagestan, taking account of the questions raised by Mr Dick Marty, PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights Rapporteur dated 20 April 2010, three pages (original in Russian); replies to the questions raised by Mr Dick Marty, rapporteur of the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights (undated, handed to the rapporteur on 24 March 2010 in Magas/Ingushetia, original in English, three pages).

43 Russian Delegation's comments on the introductory memorandum “Legal remedies for human rights violations in the North Caucasus”, document AS/Jur (2007) 15 of 9 March 2007, Rapporteur: Mr Paschal Mooney, Ireland.

44 Imakayeva, op. cit.; Magomadov v. Russia, Application No. 68004/01, judgment of 12 July 2007.

45 Bitiyeva and others v. Russia, Application No. 36156/04, judgment of 23 April 2009.

46 See Doc. 11183 of 9 February 2007.

47 See Le Monde/AFP of 12 February 2009 “L’opposant tchétchène tué à Vienne devait témoigner contre Kadyrov" [Chechen opposition politician killed in Vienna was to testify against Kadyrov]; and C.J. Chivers, “Slain Exile Detailed Cruelty of the Ruler of Chechnya”, New York Times, 1 February 2009.

48 In particular the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC/Memorial), the Stichting Chechnya/Russia Justice Initiative, and the Centre of International Protection.

49 Human Rights Watch, Who will tell me what happened to my son? Russia’s implementation of European Court of Human Rights Judgments on Chechnya, September 2009, 38 pages (available on the HRW website).

50 See the statement by Mr Pourgourides following his visit to Moscow from 7 to 10 February 2010

(http://assembly.coe.int/ASP/NewsManager/EMB_NewsManagerView.asp?ID=5269) and the committee's interim reports of 31 August 2009 (AS/Jur (2009) 36 and addendum), in particular pages 16 to 19 of the addendum

(http://assembly.coe.int/CommitteeDocs/2009/ejdoc36_2009.pdf; http://assembly.coe.int/CommitteeDocs/2009/ejdoc36ADD_2009.pdf).

51 In addition to Human Rights Watch, I would like to express particular thanks to the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) in London and the Stichting Russia Justice Initiative (SRJI), which provided me with detailed information on the implementation of the Court's judgments.

52 CM/Inf/DH(2008)33,12 September 2008, Actions of the security forces in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation: general measures to comply with the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, Second part of the revised Memorandum prepared by the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights; an updated version of this document is awaited for June 2010:



http://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?Ref=CM/Inf/DH%282008%2933&Language=lanEnglish&Site=

53 See the public statements of 10 July 2007 (www.cpt.coe.int/documents/rus/2003-33-inf-eng.pdf), 13 March 2007 (www.cpt.coe.int/documents/rus/2007-17-inf-eng.pdf) and 10 July 2001 (www.cpt.coe.int/documents/rus/2001-15-inf-eng.pdf).

54 See the 19th General Report of the CPT (1 August 2008-31 July 2009), paragraph 12, www.cpt.coe.int/en/annual/rep-19.pdf.

55 Khatsiyeva and others v. Russia, Application No. 5108/02, judgment of 17 January 2008, paragraph 139.

56 See the HRW report, op. cit., pp. 14-15, note 36.

57 Bazorkina v. Russia, Application No. 69481/01, judgment of 27 July 2006.

58 Quoted from letters as per the aforementioned HRW report, p. 11.

59 Aziyevy v. Russia, Application No. 77626/01, judgment of 20 March 2008.

60 See the aforementioned HRW report, p. 26, note 90, giving additional details; the family has not received the copy of this order it requested.

61 Families of Missing Persons: Responding to their Needs, A report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) based on an assessment carried out in the northern Caucasus, August 2009 (bilingual Russian/English).

62 See Andrew E. Kramer, Chechnya’s Capital Rises from the Ashes atop hidden Horrors, New York Times, 30 April 2008, quoting the Chechen ombudsman Nurdi Nukhazhiyev for the figure of 3 018 unresolved disappearances.

63 Radio Free Europe, Identifying Chechnya’s dead, 19 November 2008.

64 See Resolution 1463 (2005) for example.

65 International Convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance of 20 December 2006.

66 Description of the facts in line with information gathered by “Memorial”, taking account of any comments from representatives of the authorities notified to me.

67 See Le Monde of 12 February 2009, L’opposant tchétchène tué à Vienne devait témoigner contre Kadyrov (Chechen opposition politician killed in Vienna was to have testified against Kadyrov); New York Times of 1 February 2009, C.J. Chivers: “Slain exile detailed cruelty of the ruler of Chechnya”.

68 See Sonja Zekri, Tschetscheniens Machthaber soll Mord Befohlen haben – Österreichs Verfassungsschutz beschuldigt Präsident Ramsan Kadyrov – doch es fehlen stichhaltige Beweise, (Chechen leader alleged to have ordered assassination – Austrian Constitutional Security Department accuses President Ramsan Kadyrov, despite lack of firm evidence), Süddeutsche Zeitung, 28 April 2010; Joëlle Stolz, La police autrichienne relie le president tchétchène au meurtre d’un opposant (Austrian police link Chechen President to murder of political foe), Le Monde, 30 April 2010.

69 I have obtained a copy of a document from the French authorities mentioning a team of Chechen killers operating in several European countries.

70 English translation published on the website of Memorial on 6 August 2008 (www.memo.ru).

71 In a recent speech before the Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament, the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, Yuri Chaika, strongly denounced the corruption and fraud which are rife among the police in the Caucasus. He also exposed the falsification of statistics (AFP, 24 April 2010).

72 At a meeting with the Director of the FSB on 8 January 2010, President Medvedev reportedly said, “Where the bandits are concerned, our policy has not changed. We must simply destroy them. Do so brutally, do so systematically, ie regularly, because these groups unfortunately still exist” (quote from an open letter of 15 January 2010 by Svetlana Gannushkina, Chair of the Civic Assistance Committee and member of the Board of “Memorial”).

73 Article from the Corriere della sera entitled "Maestri e allievi a scuola di tortura", 8 September 2003: www.veritagiustizia.it/old_rassegna_stampa/corriere_della_sera_maestri_e_allievi_a_scuola_di_tortura.php.

74 http://site.voila.fr/tsk/dossiers/esp/jcb11m.html..

75 Personally I prefer the word “criminal” to “terrorist”, as those involved see the latter as a badge of honour.

76 Resolution 1479 (2006).

77 Doc. 10774, paragraph 86.

78 The constant flow of judgments continues as I write, once again the Court finding violations of the right to life and the absence of any effective investigation: see Shakhabova v. Russia, Application No. 39685/06 and Suleymanova v. Russia, Application No. 9191/06, of 12 May 2010; and Dzhabrailov and others v. Russia, Application No. 3678/06, of 20 May 2010.

79 Recommendation 1600 (2003), paragraph 3.v.

80 Including the Society for Threatened Peoples (Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker, Bern); this NGO has launched a project entitle “Chechen Archive” in co-operation with Chechen partners with a view to collecting, analysing and classifying as much documentary material as possible (see www.gfbv.ch). We might also mention Stas Dmitrievsky’s team, which has produced a work entitled “An international tribunal for Chechnya”, Moscow, July 2009; Natalya Estemirova provided a great deal of the research for the preparation of this work. She was assassinated on the launch day for the book in Moscow.

81 The meeting took place on 19 May 2010; see http://eng.kremlin.ru/.

82 The woman in question was Zarema Muzhakhoyeva, who had been preparing to commit a suicide bomb attack on a Moscow café and was sentenced in April 2004 (Yulia Yuzik, op. cit.); cf. also La vengeance des “veuves noires”, Le Monde, 30 March 2010.

83 Barbarie – répression, la spirale caucasienne, Le Monde, 3 April 2010.

84 See paragraph 12 of the explanatory memorandum.

85 On 20 and 27 November and 6 December 2009.

86 According to the Russian Federation Code of Criminal Procedure (Article 21.4 and Article 152.1), the police authorities are required to carry out the instructions of the investigator within 10 days.

87 The same problem occurred in the Askhabov case (see section 2 below).



88 Operations and investigation bureau of the Russian Ministry of the Interior based in the Chechen Republic. ORB-2 has been described by several international organisations and NGOs as one of the central elements in this system of widespread torture.
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