26 December 2017
Our lawyers submitted 25 applications to the ECHR in 2017. As in the past, most of the applications concerned violation of the right to life. We submitted 13 applications on behalf of 49 applicants who have suffered as a result of extra-judicial executions or forced disappearances.
11 December 2017
The application Tatayev and others vs the Russian Federation was submitted to the ECHR in 2015 with the help of Justice Initiative. “Wild garlic picking in these districts is a difficult and dangerous job but people had no choice but to take up this occupation for lack of any other livelihood”, said lawyer Tanzila Arsamakova, who works with Justice Initiative. “The applicants and their relatives who were killed all had the necessary permits from the village administration to collect wild garlic in this location. They had been engaged in this work for some time now. The authorities simply had to have known that around 100 civilians were in the forest, but they nonetheless gave the order to fire indiscriminately on the forest from machine guns and grenade launchers”.
29 November 2017
On November 24 2017, the European Court of Human Rights communicated the application of Ingushetia resident Asya Gubasheva, filed on May 19 2017. Gubasheva’s complaint is about non-enforcement of a court decision giving her custody of her daughter (Article 8) and lack of legal protection (Article 13). The Russian bailiffs’ inaction has meant that Gubasheva has not seen her daughter for more than three years now. The ECHR recognized the mother and her four-year-old daughter as applicants.
21 November 2017
The European Court of Human Rights rules that the Russian Government must pay 24,000 euros to the family of a man who died from tuberculosis in prison
In its ruling on Kaimova and others vs Russia (No 24132/12), the ECHR recognized that the Russian authorities violated their positive obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights by not protecting Kaimov’s life and not conducting an effective investigation into the circumstances of his death in detention.
10 November 2017
Complaint in the ECHR from Saida Khalikova about remoteness of her place of detention and failure to provide medical assistance
Saida Khalikova was sentenced by the Moscow district military court in 2015 to five years in a general-regime prison colony. She has been in detention since December 2014. During the investigation, she and her mother Raziyat Isambekova came under pressure from Investigative Committee officials. Saida has suffered from a blood disorder for many years now. Lawyers from Justice Initiative sent a request to prison colony 28 and enabled her to undergo an out-patient medical examination. On November 9 2017, Justice Initiative sent to the ECHR an application in which Khalikova and her mother Raziyat Isambekova complain of inadequate medical assistance at prison colony 28 in Volgograd Region.
19 September 2017
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.
24 August 2017
SJI briefed the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on identification of remains of applicant’s son
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.
16 August 2017
Lawyer Vitaly Zubchenko, who works with Justice Initiative, said in his comments that assessment of the voluntary or involuntary nature of a decision not to go ahead with the crime is part of the circumstances of the case. In its earlier examination, the court of first instance concluded that the defendants were guilty. The first appeal court also examined the circumstances, including the issue of voluntary nature, and upheld the sentence.
15 August 2017
Lawyers from Justice Initiative already sent to the ECHR a complaint on behalf of Yelizaveta Aliyeva for violations of articles 2,3 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The complaint also cites violation of Article 13 of the Convention because the authorities did not open a criminal case into the presumed murder of Maryem Aliyeva, who has been missing since September 19 2015.
4 August 2017
Today, on August 4 2017, it was announced that Yevloyev has been released. There is no information on the whereabouts of his accomplice, Murad Paragulgov. Knowing that Yevloyev is now free, Yelizaveta Aliyeva fears for her and her family’s safety.
7 July 2017
“We fought for nearly two years for Khakulov to get medical aid”, Diana Kostina said. “We will seek a full and fair investigation into his death. This will be possible only if, first, the fact that he did not get proper treatment for a long time at the pre-trial detention centre in Nalchik is taken into account, and second, that the courts’ decisions ignored the medical commission’s conclusions and doctors’ demands. Finally, the Federal Corrections Service personal did not provide him with the needed treatment during the transfer to the prison colony. He did not therefore receive the regular treatment he needed and died as a result. All of this points to systematic violations of the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and the principles of Russian legislation on protection of health of life”.
8 June 2017
Tuntuyev was taken to the headquarters of Prison Colony No.6, where he was met by three men who introduced themselves as being from the Federal Security Service (FSB). The three men spent half-an-hour threatening him and pressuring him to confess to a new crime. Another man then entered the room and introduced himself as an investigator from Pyatigorsk. He asked Tuntuyev to sign a statement renouncing his right to a lawyer. Tuntuyev refused. The investigator did not insist and left. The three FSB men returned and, facing their threats, Tuntuyev was forced to renounce the right to a lawyer.
25 May 2017
Lawyers from Justice Initiative sent an application to the ECHR for violations by the authorities of articles 2, 3, and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to life, prohibition of torture, and prohibition of discrimination) in connection with the police’s refusal to investigate Marem Aliyeva’s complaints about beatings by her husband, and the lack of an effective investigation into Marem’s murder.
24 May 2017
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.
5 May 2017
The investigation report states that Mukharbek Yevloyev abducted Yelizaveta Aliyeva from her home on July 9, 2015. He was looking for Aliyeva’s sister, Marem. Together with five armed men, he broke into Yelizaveta Aliyeva’s house, demanding to know where his wife was. Aliyeva and her husband were bundled into a car and driven towards the city dump in Nazran. Neighbours called the police and this saved Aliyeva, as she was able to escape from the car when the abductors stopped to hide from the police patrol.
2 May 2017
Russian Justice Initiative is continuing its project to provide comprehensive legal aid to women from various parts of the country who are victims of domestic violence. Since 2009, our lawyers have represented the interests of women from the North Caucasus republics in cases related to honour killings, bride abductions, violence in the family and decisions regarding custody of children. The project provides a lawyer free of charge to victims of violence in the home, rape, sexual harassment, human trafficking, and gender-based discrimination, living in different Russian regions and who express the desire to defend their rights.
14 March 2017
ECHR awards 45,500 in damages to prisoner subjected to torture and asks for a review of the sentence
“In its ruling on the case of Mukayev v. Russia (No. 22495/08), the ECHR reiterated that the use as evidence in criminal cases of statements obtained under torture makes the trial unfair in general”, said lawyer Olga Gnezdilova. “Thanks to this ECHR judgment, Mukayev’s sentence will be reviewed and the authorities will be obliged to conduct an effective investigation into the use of torture. At the same time, Justice Initiative is handling the totally identical case of Ayub Tuntuyev, who was repeatedly beaten by the police, subjected to electric shock torture, forced to renounce his defence lawyer and forced to speak against himself. Despite the fact that the ECHR has already sent preliminary questions to the Russian government on Tuntuyev’s case, the North Caucasus District Military Court refused to reject as inadmissible the evidence obtained under torture”
7 March 2017
Court refuses to exclude evidence obtained under torture from prosecution’s case against Ayub Tuntuyev
The criminal case was opened after the European Court of Human Rights communicated Tuntuyev’s application and sent questions to the Russian government on investigating the torture used against him. The application was made by Justice Initiative and notes that Tuntuyev faces pressure, the investigators have been inactive, and it took a long time for a criminal case to be opened.
27 February 2017
Yelizaveta Aliyeva, sister of Marem Aliyeva, who disappeared in 2015, has sent an application to the ECHR. She states that Marem disappeared without trace on September 19, 2015, following an argument with her husband, Mukharbek Yevloyev, who had repeatedly beaten her. The application states that the investigation into Marem’s disappearance is not being conducted effectively and the state authorities took no measures to prevent the violence committed against her.
21 February 2017
“The ECHR’s judgment repeats its conclusions on the general ineffectiveness of criminal investigations in cases of abductions of people”, said Olga Gnezdilova, legal director at Justice Initiative. “Without any results from criminal investigations, all other possible means of legal protection remain out of reach in practice. The applicants had no possibility of recourse to effective remedy”. The ECHR awarded the Kushtov family 65,000 euros as compensation for material and moral damages.