On 15 November 2007, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will rule on three cases from Chechnya, Russian Justice Initiative said today. The three cases concern enforced disappearances, extra-judicial executions and the illegal expropriation of property.
Khamila Isayeva v. Russia: On 29 April 2001 the Russian military conducted a special ("mop-up") operation in the village of Alkhan-Kala, Chechnya. In the course of the operation the Russian military detained and took away ten men, including Sultan Isayev, the husband of Khamila Isayeva who later lodged an application with the ECHR. The severely mutilated body of one of them was found two weeks laters, whilst all the others have remained missing ever since. The special operation was reported in Russian media as a success in the fight against terrorism. The investigation lodged into the disappearances has failed to establish who detained the ten men.
Kukayev v. Russia: On 26 November 2000 Aslanbek Kukayev, an officer of the special police unit of the Chechen Department of the Interior (OMON), was detained together with another police officer as they were driving through Grozny where federal servicemen from the military detachment Don-100 were carrying out a special ("mop-up") operation. Two other police men detained the same day witnessed how six federal servicemen escorted Kukayev and the other police officer away from the truck where other detainees were being kept. On 22 April 2001 the bodies of Kukayev and the other police officer were discovered. A medical examination concluded that Kukayev had died of gunshot wounds. The investigation has failed to establish the identity of the men who detained Kukayev.
Khamidov v. Russia: Soon after Khanbatay Khamidov left his home in the Nadterechny District, Chechnya, out of fear for his security because of the recently launched counter-terrorist operation, his property was occupied by the Tambov consolidated police units of the Ministry of the Interior. When Khamidov and his family tried to return on 19 October 1999, the were denied access. On 14 February 2001 a local court ordered the eviction of the police units. Khamidov was given access to his property only in June 2002, however, and his attempts to seek compensation for the illegal expropriation and damage to his property have been fruitless.
Khamila Isayeva was assisted in bringing her application to the ECHR by Russian Justice Initiative. In Kukayev v. Russia and Khamidov v. Russia, the applicants were assisted by lawyers from the Human Rights Centre "Memorial."
For more information:
In Moscow, Russia: Ole Solvang, +7 905 527 5978
In Nazran, Russia: Arsen Sakalov, +7 906 486 0753