Постановление Европейского суда по правам человека от 29.10.2009 «Дело Хантиева и другие (khantiyeva and others) против России» [англ.]


EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
FIRST SECTION
CASE OF KHANTIYEVA AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Application No. 43398/06)
JUDGMENT*
(Strasbourg, 29.X.2009)
____________________________
*This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Khantiyeva and Others v. Russia,

The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:

Christos Rozakis, President,

Nina {Vajic}*,

____________________________
*Здесь и далее по тексту слова на национальном языке набраны латинским шрифтом и выделены фигурными скобками.

Anatoly Kovler,

Khanlar Hajiyev,

Dean Spielmann,

Giorgio Malinverni,

George Nicolaou, judges,

and {Soren} Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 8 October 2009,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

PROCEDURE
1. The case originated in an application (No. 43398/06) against the Russian Federation lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention") by four Russian nationals, listed in paragraph 5 below ("the applicants"), on 18 October 2006.

2. The applicants were represented by lawyers of the Stichting Russian Justice Initiative ("SRJI"), an NGO based in the Netherlands with a representative office in Russia. The Russian Government ("the Government") were represented by Mr G. Matyushkin, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.

3. On 16 June 2008 the Court decided to apply Rule 41 of the Rules of Court and to grant priority treatment to the application, and to give notice of the application to the Government. Under the provisions of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention, it decided to examine the merits of the application at the same time as its admissibility.

4. The Government objected to the joint examination of the admissibility and merits of the application and to the application of Rule 41 of the Rules of Court. Having considered the Government's objection, the Court dismissed it.

THE FACTS
I. The circumstances of the case
5. The applicants are:

1) Ms Ayna Khantiyeva, born in 1951;

2) Mr Alaudin Khantiyev, born in 1940;

3) Ms Kulsum Baysultanova, born in 1972, and
4) Mr Adam Khantiyev, born in 1991.

The applicants live in Grozny, in the Chechen Republic.

6. The first and second applicants are the parents of Mr Mayrudin Khantiyev, born in 1972. The third and fourth applicants are Mayrudin Khatntiyev's wife and son.

A. The background to the case
7. According to a certificate issued on 12 March 2002 by the head of the Grozny SIZO-I remand prison, from 1998 to 1999 Mayrudin Khantiyev was employed as a junior inspector in the security department of that facility; he left his job in 1999 because of the hostilities. According to the applicants, Mayrudin Khantiyev subsequently worked as a mechanic and then as a construction worker on the construction site of a school.

8. In December 2000 the city of Grozny was under curfew. The applicants and Mayrudin Khantiyev lived in the same five-storey block of flats at No. 269 Ugolnaya Street in Grozny ("house No. 269"). The flat of Mayrudin Khantiyev's family was on the ground floor; his parents' flat was on the first floor. Two guard posts of the Russian military forces were stationed on the roof of house No. 269 on a permanent basis, the soldiers having constructed a shelter there. The building was situated about fifty metres from the military commander's office of the Staropromyslovskiy district (the district military commander's office) and its checkpoint. Two further checkpoints were located in the vicinity of the applicants' building. One of them, called "Katayama" ("Катаяма"), was located about 500 metres away; the other one, called "Zagryazhskiy" ("Загряжский") was about 1.5 km away from the applicants' building.

B. Abduction of Mayrudin Khantiyev
1. The applicants' account
(i) The events of 4 December 2000 as described by the applicants
9. On 4 December 2000 the applicants and Mayrudin Khantiyev were sleeping in their respective flats at the above address. At about 6.15 a.m., during curfew, the third applicant was woken up by a noise at the entrance door. She approached the door and noticed the light of a torch. She saw that the door was being forced from the outside. The third applicant called Mayrudin Khantiyev and they tried to hold the door from the inside. After a while the door lock was broken and a group of about five armed men in dark-green camouflage uniforms and masks burst into the flat. The intruders were speaking Russian. They neither identified themselves nor produced any documents. The third applicant inferred that they were servicemen.

10. The servicemen immediately grabbed the third applicant and Mayrudin Khantiyev and took them into one room. The third applicant asked one of the intruders what they were looking for. She did not receive any response to her question and was ordered to stay quiet. She heard the servicemen tying up her husband with adhesive tape; he could not say anything as apparently his mouth was covered with the tape. Having tied up Mayrudin Khantiyev, who was barefoot and in his underwear, the servicemen dragged him outside through the balcony and put him into a new white Niva vehicle with blackened windows and without licence plates, parked near the third applicant's balcony. While the servicemen were leaving the flat with Mayrudin Khantiyev the third applicant started screaming for help. Meanwhile the men got into the car and it started driving away in the direction of the 36th district (36-й участок) of Grozny.

11. The third applicant ran outside calling for help, and saw the car drive away in the above direction. At that moment the first applicant and several neighbours ran outside. The applicants immediately asked the servicemen on the roof for help. The first applicant shouted to them that the men in the white car, which was still visible on the road, had abducted her son. Servicemen on one of the guard posts on the roof did not react to the first applicant's calls for help. Soldiers at the other guard post ordered the applicants to stay quiet and to return home as it was curfew.

12. According to the first applicant's statement to her representatives, she reached Mayrudin Khantiyev's flat while the armed masked men were still inside it. They would not let her inside.

13. One of the applicants' neighbours, the former head of a local department of the interior, also went outside and heard the applicants ask for help. He told the first applicant to get into his car and they drove to the Russian federal forces checkpoint located about 1.5 km away. At the checkpoint the first applicant told the soldiers that her son had been abducted by men in the white VAZ-2121 car and asked whether that car had passed the checkpoint. The soldiers told her that they did not know anything and threatened to kill the first applicant and her neighbour if they did not return home.

14. On the same day the second applicant went to the district military commander's office. He complained to the military commander that Mayrudin Khantiyev had been abducted. The second applicant pointed out that the servicemen on the roof must have seen the abductors and the direction in which they had taken his son away and that they had not done anything. The commander responded that the soldiers had not seen anything as they had been asleep.

15. The above account of the events is based on the application form of 20 October 2006, the applicants' statements to their representatives dated 19 October 2006 and two hand-drawn maps of the applicants' block of flats in Grozny.

(ii) Statements by witnesses
16. The applicants produced undated statements from the residents of house No. 269 in support of their account of the events of 4 December 2000.

17. In their statements Ms V., Ms P., Mr Da. and Ms S. submitted that at about 6.15 a.m. they had been woken up by noise and screaming coming from the courtyard. Ms V. and Ms P. had looked out of their windows and Mr Da. and Ms S. had gone outside. They had all seen a white NIVA vehicle drive off and the first and third applicants run after it screaming. Ms P. specifically pointed out that at the relevant time servicemen of the district military commander's office had been stationed on the roof of the house.

18. In their statements Ms B. and Mr U. submitted that at about 6 a.m., during curfew hours, they had been woken up by the screams and weeping of women and children. Ms B. and Mr U. had got to the staircase and had seen the door of Mayrudin Khantiyev's flat broken and a white NIVA vehicle with blackened windows and without licence plates. Mayrudin Khantiyev, who was only in his underwear, had been forced into the vehicle and taken away.

19. In his statement Mr Du. submitted that at about 6 a.m. on 4 December 2000 he had been woken up by the screaming of women and crying of children. He had got outside and had seen several servicemen who were wearing masks. Mr Du. had wanted to ask them what was going on but was afraid. Two servicemen had taken Mayrudin Khantiyev to a white NIVA vehicle with blackened windows and without licence plates.

2. Information submitted by the Government
20. The Government submitted that on 4 December 2000 unidentified armed persons had kidnapped Mayrudin Khantiyev and had taken him away to an unknown destination.

C. The search for Mayrudin Khantiyev and the investigation
1. The applicants' account
21. Between 4 and 19 December 2000 the applicants complained about their relative's abduction to a number of local law enforcement agencies, including the department of the interior of the Staropromyslovskiy district (the ROVD), the local prosecutor's office and the military commander's office of the Staropromyslovskiy district (the district military commander's office). The applicants did not retain copies of their complaints.

22. On 20 December 2000 the applicants complained about the abduction of Mayrudin Khantiyev to the Grozny military commander's office. In their complaint they provided a detailed description of the circumstances of their relative's abduction. In particular, they stated that Mayrudin Khantiyev had been abducted at 6.15 a.m., during curfew, by armed men in camouflage uniforms who had tied him up and taken him away to an unknown destination. The applicants stated that immediately after the abduction, on the morning of 4 December 2000, they had complained about it to the military commander of the Staropromyslovskiy district, Mr Z.; the latter had denied knowing anything about the abduction and had refused to assist the applicants. In their complaint the applicants also submitted that they had previously applied in writing to the prosecutor's office, the ROVD and other authorities but that their complaints had not produced any results.

23. On 27 December 2000 the Grozny town prosecutor's office (the town prosecutor's office) instituted an investigation into the abduction of Mayrudin Khantiyev under Article 126 § 1 of the Criminal Code (kidnapping). The case file was given the number 12368. The decision stated that, having examined the materials of the inquiry opened following the third applicant's complaint, the town prosecutor's office had established that on 4 December 2000 at about 6.10 a.m. unidentified persons in masks and camouflage uniforms had abducted Mayrudin Khantiyev from his flat and taken him to an unknown destination.

24. On 4 January 2001 the town prosecutor's office forwarded the first applicant's request for assistance in the search for her son to the ROVD for examination.

25. On 18 January 2001 the town prosecutor's office issued the applicants with a statement concerning the investigation into the abduction of Mayrudin Khantiyev. The document stated that on an unspecified date they had suspended the investigation in the criminal case for failure to establish the identity of the perpetrators.

26. On 20 January 2001 the town prosecutor's office granted the third applicant victim status in criminal case No. 12368.

27. On 9 February 2001 the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic (the republican prosecutor's office) forwarded the applicants' complaint about the abduction of Mayrudin Khantiyev to the town prosecutor's office for examination and instructed the latter to consider whether an investigation into that incident should be opened.

28. On 1 April 2001 the republican prosecutor's office forwarded the first applicant's complaint about her son's abduction by armed masked men in camouflage uniforms to the town prosecutor's office for examination.

29. On 27 July 2001 the town prosecutor's office replied to the third applicant's query and informed her that the investigation in criminal case No. 12368 was under way.

30. On 31 July 2001 the town prosecutor's office replied to the first applicant that they had examined her complaint about her son's abduction and that criminal case No. 12368 had been forwarded to the republican prosecutor's office for examination.

31. On 7 August 2001 the republican prosecutor's office informed the first applicant that they had examined the investigation file in criminal case No. 12368 and had issued unspecified instructions aimed at identifying the perpetrators.

32. On 8 August 2001 the republican prosecutor's office forwarded the first applicant's request for assistance in the search for her son to the town prosecutor's office.

33. On 21 August 2001 the Prosecutor General's office of the Russian Federation informed the first applicant that her complaint about her son's abduction had been forwarded to the republican prosecutor's office.

34. On 25 August 2001 the town prosecutor's office granted the first applicant victim status in connection with the proceedings in case No. 12368.

35. On 9 September 2001 the republican prosecutor's office forwarded the first applicant's request for assistance in the search for her son to the town prosecutor's office.

36. It appears that on 12 or 18 September 2001 the town prosecutor's office suspended the investigation in criminal case No. 12368 for failure to establish the perpetrators. There is no indication that applicants were informed about that decision.

37. On an unspecified date in September 2001 the first applicant wrote to the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation. She complained about her son's abduction by armed men in camouflage uniforms who had arrived

3 Comments

John Doe

March 27, 2018 at 8:00 am Reply

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John Doe

March 27, 2018 at 8:00 am Reply

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John Doe

March 27, 2018 at 8:00 am Reply

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

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