ECHR Case law
HOW THE PERSON WILL KNOW IF HIS/HER COMPLAIN WAS ACCEPTED BY THE EUROPEAN COURT?
When a complaint reaches the Registry (seretariat) of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, a so-called provisional file is opened. Sometimes the Registry then needs to ask more information from the applicant before a case can be registered. This may take time, due to the large number of incoming complaints. When a case is officially registered, it is given an application number and the applicant is informed by letter. Official registration, however, does not guarantee that the complaint will be brought to the attention of the respondent government, as in many cases a complaint is formally registered with a view to declaring it inadmissible, without even hearing the government. If a complaint is communicated to the respondent government, the applicant is informed about this in a letter.
1 Under Articles 43 and 44 of the Convention, THE CHAMBER JUDGMENT IS NOT FINAL. During the three-month period following its delivery, any party may request that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber of the Court. If such a request is made, a panel of five judges considers whether the case deserves further examination. In that event, the Grand Chamber will hear the case and deliver a final judgment. If the referral request is refused, the Chamber judgment will become final on that day.
Once a judgment becomes final, it is transmitted to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for supervision of its execution.
ECHR case law – Chechen 240 cases so far
case SULTANOV VS. RUSSIA No. 15303/09 decision was ruled on November 4, 2010.
The application was submitted to the European Court on April 1, 2009.
Nabi Sultanov, an Uzbek national and a native of the town of Namangan, arrived in Russia by plane, flying Tashkent – Moscow, to find a job. Had he stayed in his homeland he would not have been able to support his family. Sultanov has not been filed with criminal charges either in Russia or in Uzbekistan. Neither had he been involved in any political activities. Sultanov had been following Muslim rites thoroughly, albeit he had never belonged to a religious grouping. It was found out later that in June, 2008 an MVD investigator of Uzbekistan delivered an order to charge the applicant with the allegedly committed attempt to overthrow the constitutional regime of Uzbekistan, and with the organization of a criminal community. On June 17, 2008 Sultanov was detained in Perm’ as a person listed on the inter-state wanted list. On May 7, 2009 the decision on extradition of the applicant to Uzbekistan came into force. However, it was not executed since the European Court had previously applied Rule 39, according to which the Russian authorities had been ordered not to extradite the applicant until further instructions from the European Court.
The European Court further noted that in the absence of clear legal provisions establishing the procedure for ordering and extending detention with a view to extradition, the deprivation of liberty to which the applicant was subjected was not circumscribed by adequate safeguards against arbitrariness. Thus, his detention with a view of extradition breached Article 5 (1) of the European Convention (the legality of deprivation of liberty) with regard to the fact that during the whole period of his detention (1 year and 10 months) the measure of restraint had never been extended in breach of the national legislation.
Moreover, the European Court ruled that since the applicant had not had the opportunity to appeal against his detention, the Article 5 (4) of the Convention had been violated (the right for a legal review of legality of deprivation of liberty).
The European Court awarder the applicant 15 000 EUR in moral damages and 7 500 EUR as costs and expenses to the applicant’s legal representatives.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION OF 21 OCTOBER 2010 ON THE SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS (RUSSIAN FEDERATION) AND THE CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AGAINST OLEG ORLOV Texts adopted on Thursday, 21 October 2010 – Strasbourg
The European Parliament ,
– having regard to its resolution of 17 September 2009 on the murder of human rights activists in Russia(1) ,
– having regard to the award on 16 December 2009 of its Sakharov Prize to Oleg Orlov, Sergei Kovalev and Lyudmila Alexeyeva on behalf of the Human Rights Centre Memorial and all other human rights defenders in Russia,
– having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the Russian Federation, which entered into force in 1997 and has been extended pending its replacement by a new agreement,
– having regard to the ongoing negotiations on a new agreement establishing a new, comprehensive framework for EU-Russia relations,
– having regard to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,
– having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas, as a member of the Council of Europe and of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and a signatory to UN declarations, Russia has committed itself to protecting and promoting human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law,
B. whereas there are some 20 000 cases pending at the European Court of Human Rights from the Russian Federation, mainly from the North Caucasus region; whereas the European Court of Human Rights has condemned the Russian Federation for serious human rights violations in the region in over 150 judgments and stresses the importance of the prompt and complete implementation of these judgments,
The situation of human rights in the North Caucasus
…whereas there are still some 80 000 internally displaced people in the North Caucasus more than 18 years after they were forced to flee their homes following a series of wars that broke out between Ingushetia and North Ossetia in 1992 and in Chechnya in 1994 and 1999; whereas these persons have difficulties in finding accommodation, in extending their residence permits, which limits their access to social services, in renewing internal passports and in obtaining ‘forced migrant’ status, which they need to gain access to jobs, social services and benefits,…
Criminal investigation against Oleg Orlov
Rejects and condemns the cynical and absurd attempts to implicate Memorial in the crime of aiding terrorist organisations;
12. Condemns the opening of a criminal investigation against Oleg Orlov and urges the competent authorities to reconsider the decision to open the criminal trial; points out that statements like Oleg Orlov’s are legitimate in a democracy and should be subject to neither civil-law nor criminal-law penalties;
13. Calls on the Russian authorities – should the trial continue – to ensure that there are no further violations of the law in the investigation and the court proceedings against Oleg Orlov and to comply in all circumstances with the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international and regional human rights instruments ratified by the Russian Federation;
14. Recalls that Oleg Orlov was awarded the European Parliament’s 2009 Sakharov Prize and is thus under the European Parliament’s special moral and political protection; urges the Russian Government to allow Oleg Orlov to attend the 2010 Sakharov Prize award ceremony in Strasbourg without hindrance;///
BORIS POPOV v. RUSSIA (no. 23284/04)
The applicant, Boris Popov, is a Russian national who was born in 1975 and is currently serving a sentence of imprisonment in the Tomsk Region (Russia). Relying in particular on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and Article 5 §§ 1 and 5 (right to liberty and security), he complained about being detained unlawfully between 6 and 8 November 2001 on suspicion of theft for which he had not subsequently been prosecuted, about him not being able to obtain compensation for his unlawful deprivation of liberty, and about being handcuffed for 28 hours during that period. Relying further on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life and correspondance), he also complained about his correspondence being monitored by the prison authorities during his imprisonment for criminal offences not related to his detention in November 2001.
No violation of Article 3, Violation of Article 5 §§ 1 and 5 ,Violation of Article 8
Just satisfaction: EUR 4,500 (non-pecuniary damage)
KRESTOVSKIY v. RUSSIA (no. 14040/03)
The applicant, Vadim Krestovskiy, is a Russian national who was born in 1963 and is currently serving a prison sentence in Yagul (Udmurtiya Republic), Russia. Convicted of murder, he complained in particular that the criminal proceedings against him had been unfair, as he had not had a public hearing, in breach of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial).
Violation of Article 6 § 1 (fairness)
Just satisfaction: EUR 1,800 (non-pecuniary damage
RUDAKOV v. RUSSIA (no. 43239/04)
The applicant, Vasiliy Rudakov, is a Russian national who was born in 1972 and is currently serving a life sentence in a detention facility in Russia known as Vladimirskiy Tsentral. Relying in particular on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), he alleged that he had been subjected to severe beatings by prison warders and that the authorities had failed to carry out an effective investigation into his allegation.
Violation of Article 3 (inhuman or degrading treatment)
Violation of Article 3 (lack of effective investigation)
Just satisfaction: EUR 20,000 (non-pecuniary damage)
LEONID LAZARENKO v. UKRAINE (no. 22313/04)
The applicant, Leonid Lazarenko, is a Ukrainian national who was born in 1968 and is currently serving a life sentence in Yenakiyeve Prison (Ukraine) for murder, robbery and carjacking commited in December 2001. Relying in particular on Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) (right to a fair trial), Mr Lazarenko complained that he had been convicted of murder on the basis of self-incriminating statements obtained under duress and in the absence of a lawyer.
Violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 c) (fairness)
Just satisfaction: the most appropriate form of redress would be a re-trial of the applicant in accordance with the requirements of Article 6 § 1; the finding of a violation sufficient just satisfaction for non-pecuniary damage .
MOLODORYCH v. UKRAINE (no. 2161/02)
The applicant, Oleksiy Molodorych, is a Ukrainian national who was born in 1982 and is currently serving a ten-year prison sentence at Cherkasy Correctional Colony in Ukraine for attempted murder and robbery. Relying in particular on Article 5 §§ 3 and 4 (right to liberty and security), he complained that the length of his pre-trial detention, lasting two years and ten months, had been unreasonable and that its lawfulness had not been reviewed by the courts.
Violation of Article 5 §§ 3 and 4
Just satisfaction: EUR 2,600 (non-pecuniary damage)
Disappearance of two brothers in Chechnya: CASE SASITA ISRAILOVA AND OTHERS V. RUSSIA (application no 35079/04) the European Court of Human Rights held, that there had been a:
Violation of Article 2 (right to life: disappearances) of the ECHR concerning the applicants’ relatives, Ilyas and Isa Yansuyev;
Violation of Article 2 (right to life: lack of effective investigation into disappearances);
Violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) in respect of the applicants’ mental suffering;
Two violations of Article 5 (right to liberty and security: unacknowledged detention);
A violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) in conjunction with Article 2;
A violation of Article 38 (obligation to furnish necessary facilities for the examination of the case).
Decision of the Court
The Court considered that the relatives of the two disappeared brothers had provided a coherent and consistent account of the abductions, which had been corroborated by the eye-witness account of Ilyas Yansuyev’s wife. The abductors, arriving early in the morning to carry out a search, had acted in a manner similar to a security operation and had spoken Russian without an accent. The fact that a group of armed men in camouflage uniform, equipped with automatic firearms and, most probably, military 2 vehicles, had been able to move freely through an area under the formal control of the federal forces and secured by check-points and had apprehended several people in their own homes, had strongly supported the applicants’ allegations that those men had been Russian servicemen. Further drawing inferences from the Russian Government’s failure to submit all documents related to the investigations to which it exclusively had access or to provide any other plausible explanation for the disappearances in question, the Court considered that Ilyas and Isa Yansuyev had to be presumed dead following their unacknowledged detention by Russian servicemen. Accordingly, there had been a violation of Article 2 in respect of both men.
The Court also found that there had been a further violation of Article 2 on account of the authorities’ failure to carry out effective criminal investigations into the circumstances in which the applicants’ relatives disappeared.
The applicants, the parents, brother, wives and children of Ilyas and Isa Yansuyev, had suffered distress and anguish as a result of the disappearance of their close relatives and their inability – despite their repeated enquiries – to find out what had happened to them. The manner in which the applicants’ complaints had been dealt with by the authorities had to be considered to constitute inhuman treatment, in violation of Article 3.
The Court held that the Yansuyev brothers had been held in unacknowledged detention without any of the safeguards contained in Article 5, which constituted a particularly grave violation of the right to liberty and security.
The criminal investigations into the disappearance of the Yansuyev brothers had been ineffective and the effectiveness of any other remedy that might have existed had consequently been undermined. Consequently there had been a violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Article 2.
Lastly, the Court held that, despite repeated requests, Russia had failed to submit the criminal investigation file on the applicants’ case and had therefore breached its obligations under Article 38 § 1 (a) to cooperate with the Court in its task of establishing the facts.
The Court held that Russia was to pay Isa and Ilyas Yansuyev’s parents and Isa Yansuyev’s wife 6,000 euros (EUR) each and Ilyas Yansuyev’s children EUR 4,500 each in respect of pecuniary damage. In respect of non pecuniary damage the Court further held that Isa and Ilyas Yansuyev’s brother was to be paid EUR 10,000, their parents EUR 25,000 each, Ilyas Yansuyev’s children EUR 15,000 each and Isa Yansuyev’s wife EUR 30,000. EUR 8,000 was to be paid respect of costs and expenses.
ADOPTED BY RUSSIA IN RESPONSE TO PILOT JUDGMENT HAS TO BE EXHAUSTED BEFORE APPLYING TO THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Nagovitsyn and Nalgiyev v. Russia (application nos. 27451/09 and 60650/09)
Fakhretdinov and Others v. Russia (application nos. 26716/09, 67576/09 and 7698/10)
The Court observed that the new domestic remedy was available to the applicants: their complaints concerned either the length of proceedings or non-enforcement of domestic judgments ordering monetary payments by the State authorities and were thus covered by the new Compensation Act. The applicants’ possible claims under the Compensation Act were not time-barred, given notably that the transitional provisions of the Compensation Act allowed the new remedy to be applied to cases brought before the Court before the Compensation Act had entered into force and in which the Court had not yet ruled on admissibility. The Court noted that some of the applicants have already made use of the new remedy…..more here
Aleksander Leonidovich Ivanov v. Russia (no. 33929/03)
The applicant, Aleksander Ivanov, is a Russian national who was born in 1981 and is currently serving, in the Ryazan Region, a 17-year prison term for murder and theft for which he was convicted in April 2002. Relying in particular on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), the applicant complained about the conditions in which he had been kept pending trial, and in particular about overcrowding.
Violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading conditions)
Just satisfaction: EUR 9,000 (non-pecuniary damage)
Isayev v. Russia (no. 24490/03)
The applicant, Andrey Isayev, is a Russian national who was born in 1978 and lives in Vladimir (Russia). Relying on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time), he alleged that the criminal proceedings against him had been excessively long.
Violation of Article 6 § 1 (length)
Vasilchenko v. Russia (no. 34784/02)
The applicant, Petr Vasilchenko, is a Russian national who was born in 1959 and lives in Rostov-on-Don (Russia). Relying, in particular, on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time), he alleged that the courts had taken too long to examine his case in which he sought reinstatement to his job as an army colonel from which he had been removed in 1998, as well as payment of salary and benefits, and compensation for damage resulting from his removal.
No violation of Article 6 § 1 (length)
CASE OF ISKANDAROV v. RUSSIA (Application no. 17185/05)
short summay: “In December 2004, Russian police arrested Mahmudi Iskandarov in Moscow at the request of Tajik authorities. The government had implicated Iskandarov – a vociferous critic of President Rakhmonov, presidential hopeful, and leader of the Tajik Democratic Party – in an attack on two government offices in Tojikobod in August 2004. Russian authorities released him on April 3, 2005, but he disappeared just two days later and eventually turned up in custody in Tajikistan. Iskandarov claimed that he had applied for refugee status after his initial release from Russian custody, but said that Russian police had kidnapped him off the street and transferred him to agents who flew him to Dushanbe. On October 5, 2005, after a trial that lasted more than two months, Iskandarov was found guilty on six counts, including terrorism and illegal possession of weapons. He was sentenced to twenty-three years in prison and fined 1.5 million soms (approximately U.S.$ 470,000).”
THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
1. Declares the application admissible;
2. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention;
3. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 5 § 1 of the Convention;
4. Holds that the respondent State is to pay the applicant EUR 30,000.
On June 17, 2010 the European Court of Human Rights decided in favour of communicating the application in the case Kasymakhunov v. Russia, which was submitted to the Court on July 11, 2005 to the authorities of the Russian Federation.
The applicant, a citizen of Uzbekistan, Yusup Kasymakhunov, DOB 1964, has been a member of Khizb ut-Takhrir since 1996. On February 11, 2003 the Supreme Court Russia delivered its judgment recognizing 15 organizations, including Khizb ut-Takhrir, as terrorist organizations and banned their activity on the territory of Russia.
On November 11, 2004 the Moscow City Court found the applicant guilty of all the charges brought against him and sentenced him to 8 years’ imprisonment in a high security corrective facility. His arguments as to the absence of grounds for recognizing his activity as illegal, as laid out in his cassational appeal, were dismissed by the ruling of the Supreme Court of Russia of January 13, 2005….the judgment on prohibition of the activity of Khizb ut-Takhrir which served as the ground for criminal proceedings against the applicant, had never been published officially, and the text of the judgment was not accessible even for the applicant’s defense at the time of Kasymakhunov’s arrest.
The examination of Yusup Kasymakhunov’s case by the European Court has a special meaning since it goes beyond the frames of the circumstances of the applicant’s case and deals with determining the nature of the activity and ideology of Khizb ut-Takhrir which is prohibited not only in Russia, but also in several Arabic countries, the post-Soviet countries of Central Asia, as well as in several European countries, including Germany.
Rantsev v. Cyprus and Russia (application no. 25965/04)
CYPRUS AND RUSSIA VIOLATED ECHR ARTICLE 4 IN TRAFFICKING CASE
comment to case:
Although human trafficking is a widespread human rights violation, very few of its victims ever find their way to human rights courts or treaty bodies. This may change now that the European Court of Human Rights on 7 January issued a landark ruling in the case of Rantsev v. Cyprus and Russia. In a Chamber judgment both countries were found to have violated Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, are rarely invoked provision that prohibits slavery and slavery-like practices.
Cyprus is involved in human trafficking both as a country of destination and transit. Foreign women are being blackmailed and forced to provide sexual services. They come from the Philippines, Russia, Moldova, Hungary, Ukraine, Greece, Vietnam, Uzbekistan and the Dominican Republic for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation .
Ms Oxana Rantseva arrived in 2001 at the age of 20 from Russia to Cyprus where she started work as an “artiste” in a cabaret. After three days she quit the job. Ten days later she was found dead in the street below an apartment where her cabaret manager was staying. It turned out that Ms Rantseva had been handed over to the man by the police. No one was prosecuted or punished.
Relying on Articles 2 (life), 3 (torture and inhuman treatment), 4 (slavery and related practices), 5 (liberty) and 8 (right to private and family life), the father of Ms Rantseva complained about the investigation into the circumstances of the death of his daughter, about the failure of the Cypriot police to take measures to protect her while she was still alive and about the failure of the Cypriot authorities to take steps to punish those responsible for her death and ill-treatment. He also complained under Articles 2 and 4 about the failure of the Russian authorities to investigate his daughter’s alleged trafficking and subsequent death and to take steps to protect her from the risk of trafficking. Finally, he complained under Article 6 of the Convention about the inquest proceedings and an alleged lack of access to court in Cyprus.
The judgment is particularly important because of the finding that both Cyprus and Russia had violated Article 4. The Court noted that, like slavery, trafficking in human beings, by its very nature and aim of exploitation, was based on the exercise of powers attaching to the right of ownership; it treated human beings as commodities to be bought and sold and put to forced labour; it implied close surveillance of the activities of victims, whose movements were often circumscribed; and it involved the use of violence and threats against victims. Accordingly the Court held that trafficking itself was prohibited by Article 4. It concluded that there had been a violation by Cyprus of its positive obligations arising under that Article on two counts: first, its failure to put in place an appropriate legal and administrative framework to combat trafficking as a result of the existing regime of artiste visas, and, second, the failure of the police to take operational measures to protect Ms Rantseva from trafficking, despite circumstances which had given rise to a credible suspicion that she might have been a victim of trafficking. There had also been a violation of this Article by Russia on account of its failure to investigate how and where Ms Rantseva had been recruited and, in particular, to take steps to identify those involved in Ms Rantseva’s recruitment or the methods of recruitment used.
Where the ruling by the European Court is weaker is the right to life issue. Cyprus was found to have violated Article 2 as a result of the failure of the Cypriot authorities to investigate effectively Ms Rantseva’s death. But the Court stopped there, and said that even if the police ought to have been aware that Ms Rantseva might have been a victim of trafficking, there were no indications that Ms Rantseva’s life was at real and immediate risk. The Court considered that the chain of events leading to Ms Rantseva’s death could not have been foreseeable to the police officers when they released her into the cabaret manager’s custody.
The Court ordered that Cyprus had to pay the family 40,000 euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 3,150 for costs and expenses, and that Russia had to pay EUR 2,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damages.
Impar Ltd. v. Lithuania (no. 13102/04)
The applicant, Impar Ltd., is a company registered in Lithuania. Relying on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial within a reasonable time), the applicant company complained about the excessive length of tax litigation proceedings.
Violation of Article 6 § 1 (length)
Just satisfaction: EUR 900 (non-pecuniary damage)
Šulcas v. Lithuania (no. 35624/04)
The applicant, Donatas Šulcas, is a Lithuanian national who lives in Lithuania. Relying on Articles 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial within a reasonable time) and 13 (right to an effective remedy), Mr Šulcas complained about the excessive length of criminal proceedings brought against him for fraud, forgery and unlawfully obtaining property. He also complained about the seizure of his and his company’s property during those criminal proceedings, in breach of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property).
Violation of Article 6 § 1 (length)
Violation of Article 13
Just satisfaction: EUR 1,700 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 1,000 (costs and expenses)
Bucuria v. Moldova (no. 10758/05)
The applicant, Bucuria Inc., is a company registered in Moldova. Relying on Article 6 § 1 (right of access to court), the applicant company complained about not being summoned to a hearing in proceedings brought against it by a former employee for unfair dismissal. It further complained about the ensuing damages it was ordered to pay to the employee, in breach of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property).
Violation of Article 6 § 1 (fairness)
No violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1
Just satisfaction: EUR 1,000 (non-pecuniary damage)
Pădureţ v. Moldova (no. 33134/03)
The applicant, Aurel Pădureţ, is a Moldovan national who was born in 1979 and lives in Bozieni (Moldova). Mr Pădureţ alleged that he was tortured when taken to Centru Police station in March 2000 for questioning in connection with a robbery; in particular he was kicked, punched, suspended on a metal bar with his feet and hands tied together behind his back (“Palestinian hanging”) and had a glass bottle repeatedly inserted into his anus. The criminal investigation against him was subsequently discontinued. He also alleged that the authorities failed to carry out an effective investigation into his ill-treatment, thus allowing the perpetrators to escape responsibility. He relied in particular on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment).
Violations of Article 3 (torture and investigation)
Just satisfaction: EUR 20,000 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 1,650 (costs and expenses)
Railean v. Moldova (no. 23401/04)
The applicant, Mihail Railean, is a Ukrainian national who was born in 1956 and lives in Krutoyarovka (Ukraine). Relying in particular on Article 2 (right to life), Mr Railean alleged that the Moldovan authorities failed to carry out an effective investigation into his son’s death, killed in a hit and run accident in January 2001.
Violation of Article 2 (investigation)
Just satisfaction: no claim made by the applicant
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
No. 810, from 29.10.2009 , Three Chamber judgments in respect of Russia,
DISAPPEARANCES IN CHECHNYA
Khantiyeva and Others v. Russia (no. 43398/06)
Satabayeva v. Russia (no. 21486/06)
Vakhayeva and Others v. Russia (no. 1758/04)
Violations in all three cases of Article 2 (right to life of Mayrudin Khantiyev, Yusup Satabayev and Kazbek Vakhayev and lack of an effective investigation into their disappearances), Article 3 (inhuman treatment on account of the applicants’ psychological suffering), Article 5 (unacknowledged detention) and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the European Convention on Human Rights; and, violation, in the last two cases, of Article 38 § 1 (refusal to submit documents requested by the Court)
Noting in all the cases that the authorities had not justified the use of lethal force by their agents or otherwise accounted for the deaths, the Court concluded that there had been a violation of Article 2 in respect of all of the applicants’ relatives.In all three cases, the Court further held that there had been violations of Article 2 relating to the authorities’ failure to carry out effective investigations into the circumstances in which the applicants’ relatives had disappeared.
The Court also found that all the applicants had suffered and continued to suffer distress and anguish as a result of the disappearance of their relatives and their inability to find out what had happened to them. The manner in which their complaints had been dealt with by the authorities had to be considered to constitute inhuman treatment, in violation of Article 3.
Lastly, the Court found in all three cases that the applicants’ relatives had been held in unacknowledged detention without any of the safeguards contained in Article 5, which constituted a particularly grave violation of the right to liberty and security enshrined in that article.
Under Article 41 (just satisfaction) of the Convention, the Court awarded the applicants a total of 9,000 euros (EUR) in respect of pecuniary damage, EUR 105,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage, and EUR 16,540 for costs and expenses. (The judgments are available only in English.)
The judgments, with the composition of the Court, are accessible on its Internet site
Case Satabayeva v. Russia here
 Under Article 43 of the European Convention on Human Rights, within three months from the date of a Chamber judgment, any party to the case may, in exceptional cases, request that the case be referred to the 17 member Grand Chamber of the Court. In that event, a panel of five judges considers whether the case raises a serious question affecting the interpretation or application of the Convention or its protocols, or a serious issue of general importance, in which case the Grand Chamber will deliver a final judgment. If no such question or issue arises, the panel will reject the request, at which point the judgment becomes final. Otherwise Chamber judgments become final on the expiry of the three-month period or earlier if the parties declare that they do not intend to make a request to refer.
RAKHIM MAVLONOV and Mr. SHANSIY SA’DI v. UZBEKISTAN (1334/2004) -UN Human Rights Committee, 19 March 2009
The United Nations Human Rights Committee found violations of freedom of expression (ICCPR art 19) and minority rights (ICCPR art 27) in a case siubmitted by two Uzbek citizens of Tajik origin. The facts of the case are related to the closing down of, and refusal to re-register, the Tajik language newspaper “Oina”, where the two authors were the editor and a reader.
When Oina’s re-registration was refused by the authorities of Uzbekistan with the motivation that the newspaper was considered to have published articles inciting inter-ethic hostility, as well as to have spread the view that Samarkand was a ‘city of Tajiks’, which allegedly constituted a violation of laws prohibiting calls for changes to the territorial integrity of the country. The decision also stated that the newspaper had published articles suggesting that local officials were ‘far from enlightened’, which was considered to be insulting.
The Human Rights Committee stated that issues related to the registration and/or re-registration of mass media fall within the scope of the right to freedom of expression protected by article 19 of the ICCPR. The Committee concluded that the application of the procedure of registration and re-registration of “Oina” did not allow Mr. Mavlonov, as the editor, and Mr. Sa’di, as a reader, to practice their freedom of expression, as defined in article 19, paragraph 2. As the State party had not advanced arguments as to the compatibility of the restrictions imposed on the authors’ right to freedom of expression, the Committee found that the right to freedom of expression under article 19 of the Covenant, respectively, Mr. Mavlonov’s ability to publish “Oina” and to impart information, and Mr. Sa’di’s right to receive information and ideas in print, had been violated. The Committee noted that the public has a right to receive information as a corollary of the specific function of a journalist and/or editor to impart information. It considered that Mr. Sa’di’s right to receive information as an “Oina” reader was violated by its non-registration.
As to the minority rights issue, the Human Rights Committee noted that “Oina” published articles containing educational and other materials for Tajik students and young persons on events and matters of cultural interest to this readership, as well as reported on the particular difficulties facing the continued provision of education to Tajik youth in their own language, including shortages in Tajik-language textbooks, low wages for teachers and the forced opening of Uzbek-language classes in some Tajik schools. The Committee took the opinion that the use of a minority language press as means of airing issues of significance and importance to the Tajik minority community in Uzbekistan, by both editors and readers, is an essential element of the Tajik minority’s culture. Therefore, the Committee concluded that the facts of the case constituted a denial of the right to enjoy minority Tajik culture, and there was a violation of ICCPR article 27, read together with article 2.
KARIMOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA (application no. 29851/05).Chamber judgment of 17 July 2009 concerning events in the Chechen republic
The case concerns the disappearance of Arbi Karimov, born in 1981. The applicants were four Russian nationals who live in the Grozny district (Chechen Republic) and are relatives of Arbi Karimov.
• two violations of Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights, on account of the Government not having provided a plausible explanation for the disappearance of Arbi Karimov and of not having carried out an effective investigation;
• a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), on account of the psychological suffering of the applicants as a result of the disappearance of Arbi Karimov;
• a violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and security), on account of the unacknowledged detention of Arbi Karimov;
• a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for home) and a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No 1 (protection of property), on account of the unlawful search of the house of the applicants (relatives of Arbi Karimov) and seizure of their property;
• a violation of Article 13 (right of an effective remedy) in conjunction with Article 2, on account of the impossibility for the applicants to obtain the identification and punishment of those responsible; and,
• a violation of Article 13 (right of an effective remedy) in conjunction with Article 8 and Article 1 of Protocol No 1, on account of the lack of effective remedies in that respect.
The Court awarded Arbi Karimov’s wife 10,000 euros (EUR) in respect of pecuniary damages and EUR 35,000 to all applicants jointly in respect of non-pecuniary damage as well as EUR 5,500 for costs and expenses.
Article 2 (disappearance)
The Court noted that the applicants’ allegations had been supported by witness statements and by the investigation. It further found that the fact that a large group of armed men in uniform, equipped with military vehicles, had been able to move freely through military roadblocks during curfew hours had strongly supported the applicants’ allegation that those had been State servicemen. Having drawn inferences from the Government’s failure to submit the documents which were in their exclusive possession or to provide a plausible explanation for the events in question, the Court considered that Arbi Karimov had been abducted on 11 January 2003 at his house in Grozni district by State servicemen during an unacknowledged security operation. In his absence or of any news about him for several years, and given the failure of the Government to justify his abduction, the Court concluded that the Government had been responsible for his death, in violation of Article 2 in respect of him.
Article 2 (investigation)
The Court noted that the abduction of Arbi Karimov had been investigated. However, despite the investigation having been opened relatively promptly, three days after the events, a number of essential investigative steps had not been taken. Further, the authorities had failed to ensure that the investigation received the required level of public scrutiny and there had been lengthy periods of inactivity. Accordingly, the authorities had failed to carry out an effective investigation, in violation of Article 2.
Article 3 (psychological suffering)
The Court noted that the applicants, close relatives of the disappeared person, had witnessed Arbi’s abduction following which they had had no news of him for more than five years. Given that there had been no plausible explanation about what had happened after his detention, the Court concluded that there had been a violation of Article 3 as a result of the applicants’ psychological suffering.
Article 5 (unlawful detention)
Given that Arbi Karimov had been held in unacknowledged detention without any of the safeguards contained in Article 5, this had constituted a particularly grave violation of the right to liberty and security as enshrined in Article 5.
Article 8 and Article 1 of Protocol No 1 (respect for home and property)
The Court noted that although information about the search and seizure of the applicants’ property had been brought to the attention of the authorities promptly, no steps had been taken to examine it. Given that the Court had already found that the persons who entered the applicants’ home had belonged to the State military or security forces, the Court concluded that the property had been also seized by representatives of the State. In addition, the search having been carried out without proper authorisation or safeguards, and the Government having failed to demonstrate its lawfulness or proportionality, there had been a violation of Article 8 and of Article 1 of Protocol No 1.
Article 13 in conjunction with Article 2
The Court held that, given that the criminal investigation into Arbi Karimov’s disappearance had been ineffective, the effectiveness of any other remedy that may have existed, including civil remedies suggested by the Government, had been undermined, in violation of Article 13 of the Convention.
Article 13 in conjunction with Article 8 and with Article 1 of Protocol No 1
The Court considered that in a situation where the authorities had denied involvement in the alleged intrusion into the applicants’ house and the taking of the family belongings, and where the domestic investigation had failed to examine the matter, the applicants had not had any effective domestic remedies in respect of the alleged violations of their rights, in violation of Article 8 and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1.
ISMAILOV v RUSSIA, Chamber judgment Ismoilov and Others v. Russia 24.04.08.doc
This is the newest case against Russia with some link with terrorism. It is about the extradition of several Uzbeks to Uzbekistan.
Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) and Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial), the applicants complained about the Russian authorities’ decision to extradite them to Uzbekistan where they allegedly risk ill-treatment and an unfair trial. They further alleged that the decisions to extradite them stated that they had committed criminal offences, notably acts of terrorism, in Uzbekistan, in breach of Article 6 § 2 (presumption of innocence).
The Court was therefore persuaded that ill-treatment of detainees was a pervasive and enduring problem in Uzbekistan and, if returned there, the applicants would be at a real risk of being subjected to ill-treatment.
Given that the practice of torture in Uzbekistan was described by reputable international experts as systematic, the Court was not persuaded that the Uzbek authorities’ diplomatic assurances had offered a reliable guarantee of the applicants’ safety. Accordingly, the applicants’ forcible return to Uzbekistan would give rise to a violation of Article 3 as they would face a serious risk of being subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment.
The applicants’ extradition decisions had declared that the applicants should be extradited because they had “committed” acts of terrorism and other criminal offences in Uzbekistan. That statement had represented as an established fact, without qualification or reservation, that the applicants had committed the crimes they had been accused of, without even mentioning that they had denied their involvement. The wording of the extradition decisions had therefore amounted to a declaration of the applicants’ guilt which would encourage the belief that they were guilty and which prejudged the assessment of the facts by the relevant judicial authority in Uzbekistan.
By upholding the extradition decisions without altering their wording, the Russian courts had further failed to rectify that defect. There had therefore been a violation of Article 6 § 2.
The list of case decided by the European Court on Human rights in Strasbourg
10840 24.9.2009 Pishchalnikov c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 7025/04 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10841 24.9.2009 Mérigaud c./v. France, no/no. 32976/04 (Sect. 5) (fr)
10843 24.9.2009 Rezvanov et/and Rezvanova c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 12457/05 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10844 24.9.2009 Babusheva et autres c. Russie/and Others v. Russia, no/no. 33944/05 (Sect. 1)(Eng)
10852 29.9.2009 Panzari c./v. Moldova, no/no. 27516/04 (Sect. 3) (Eng)
10872 1.10.2009 Toporkov c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 66688/01 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10873 1.10.2009 Kimlya et autres c. Russie/and Others v. Russia, nos/nos. 76836/01 et/and 32782/03
(Sect. 1) (Eng)
10877 1.10.2009 Makarova c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 23554/03 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10897 6.10.2009 Deservire SRL c./v. Moldova, no/no. 17328/04 (Sect. 4) (Eng)
10902 6.10.2009 Petru Roşca c./v. Moldova, no/no. 2638/05 (Sect. 4) (Eng)
10906 6.10.2009 Godorozea c./v. Moldova, no/no. 17023/05 (Sect. 4) (Eng)
10913 8.10.2009 Malkin c. Russie (radiation)/v. Russia (striking out), no/no. 67363/01 (Sect. 1)(Eng)
10914 8.10.2009 Merzhoyev c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 68444/01 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10915 8.10.2009 Shemilova et/and Shemilov c. Russie (radiation)/v. Russia (striking out),no. 42439/02(Sect.1), (Eng)
10916 8.10.2009 Bordikov c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 921/03 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10917 8.10.2009 Porubova c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 8237/03 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10918 8.10.2009 Romanenko et autres c. Russie/and Others v. Russia, no/no. 11751/03 (Sect. 1)(Eng)
10919 8.10.2009 Finkov c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 27440/03 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10923 8.10.2009 Mikolenko c. Estonie/v. Estonia, no/no. 10664/05 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10924 8.10.2009 Gsell c. Suisse/v. Switzerland, no/no. 12675/05 (Sect. 5) (fr)
10925 8.10.2009 Prokhorova c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 13869/05 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10926 8.10.2009 Adzhigovich c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 23202/05 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10927 8.10.2009 Maksimov c. Azerbaïdjan/v. Azerbaijan, no/no. 38228/05 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10960 13.10.2009 Business Şi Investiţii Pentru Toţi c./v. Moldova, no/no. 39391/04 (Sect. 4) (Eng)
10980 15.10.2009 Sokur c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 23243/03 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10982 15.10.2009 Antipenkov c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 33470/03 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10983 15.10.2009 Nichitaylov c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 36024/03 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10984 15.10.2009 Solomatin c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 8191/04 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10985 15.10.2009 Shepeleva c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 14403/04 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10986 15.10.2009 Polishchuk c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 21231/04 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10987 15.10.2009 Gvozdetskiy c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 28070/04 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10988 15.10.2009 Yuriy Nikolayevich Ivanov c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 40450/04 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10989 15.10.2009 Dovidyan c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 42277/04 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10990 15.10.2009 Shebanov c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 30664/05 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10991 15.10.2009 Rotar c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 34126/05 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10992 15.10.2009 Chaykovskiy c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 2295/06 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10993 15.10.2009 Storozhuk c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 2387/06 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10994 15.10.2009 Rukas c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 15879/06 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10995 15.10.2009 Buzhinayev c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 17679/03 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
10996 15.10.2009 Krivenko c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 19547/06 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10997 15.10.2009 Glushko c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 22358/06 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
10998 15.10.2009 Plemyanova c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 27865/06 (Sect.
10998 15.10.2009 Plemyanova c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 27865/06 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
11000 15.10.2009 Korniychuk c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 28808/07 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
11001 15.10.2009 Dubovik c./v. Ukraine, nos/nos. 33210/07 et/and 41866/08 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
11002 15.10.2009 Komnatskyy c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 40753/07 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
11007 15.10.2009 Okhrimenko c./v. Ukraine, no/no. 53896/07 (Sect. 5) (Eng)
11010 15.10.2009 Goncharova et autres et 68 autres « retraités privilégiés » c. Russie/and Others
and 68 other “Privileged pensioners” cases v. Russia, nos/nos. 23113/08,…. (Sect. 1) (Eng)
11019 20.10.2009 Valeriu et/and Nicolae Roşca c./v. Moldova, no/no. 41704/02 (Sect. 4) (Eng)
11031 20.10.2009 Gorguiladzé c. Géorgie/v. Georgia, no/no. 4313/04 (Sect. 2) (fr)
11049 22.10.2009 Pasko c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 69519/01 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
11058 22.10.2009 Isayev c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 20756/04 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
11059 22.10.2009 Mikhaylov c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 22156/04 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
11062 22.10.2009 Rodin c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 5511/05 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
11075 27.10.2009 Pandjikidzé et autres c. Géorgie/and Others v. Georgia, no/no. 30323/02 (Sect. 2) (fr)
11079 27.10.2009 Bayatyan c. Arménie/v. Armenia, no/no. 23459/03 (Sect. 3) (Eng)
11084 27.10.2009 Stepanyan c. Arménie/v. Armenia, no/no. 45081/04 (Sect. 3) (Eng)
11089 27.10.2009 Karapetyan c. Arménie/v. Armenia, no/no. 22387/05 (Sect. 3) (Eng)
11099 29.10.2009 Vakhayeva et autres c. Russie/and Others v. Russia, no/no. 1758/04 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
11100 29.10.2009 Troshkin c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 7514/05 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
11102 29.10.2009 Satabayeva c. Russie/v. Russia, no/no. 21486/06 (Sect. 1) (Eng)
11104 29.10.2009 Khantiyeva et autres c. Russie/and Others v. Russia, no/no. 43398/06 (Sect. 1)