The European Court passed a ruling in the case of obscure disappearance of a citizen from Grozny

News

15 June 2021

Aslanbek Saydakhmadov

Today, on 15 June 2021, the European Court of Human Rights acknowledged that the Russian authorities violated Article 2 of the European Convention (“right to life”) with regard to obscure disappearance and possible death of Aslanbek Saydakhmadov in 2009 and a non-effective investigation of this fact.

With regard to his mother Mariya Malayeva, the Strasbourg judges established a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention (“prohibition of torture”) due to her moral sufferings inflicted by the disappearance of her son, and due to the authorities’ reaction to her disappearance. Malayeva received a compensation of sixty thousand euro. At the present time the investigative authorities have not established the whereabouts of Aslanbek, and the persons involved in his abduction and possible murder have not been found.

As we have previously reported, on 11 April 2012 Mariya Malayeva applied to Joint Mobile Group of human rights defenders, working in the Chechen Republic (JMG) for legal assistance. She reported that on 3 August 2009 two unknown young men took her son Aslanbek from her apartment. To her question where he was taken, the response was that the point of destination is the Department of the Interior of the Leninsky District of Grozny. Mariya’s neighbors saw armed men arrived on two Russian-made vehicles, put Aslanbek in one of the cars and left in unknown direction.

On the same day Mariya applied to the Ministry of the Interior and the Prosecutor’s Office with a complaint about the kidnapping of her son. However, the criminal case based on this fact was initiated only on 14 August. Later on it was suspended repeatedly, and on 30 December 2009 it was altogether dismissed – the officers of the Ministry of the Interior for the Chechen Republic delivered Aslanbek from Astrakhan to Grozny, where in the course of interrogation he explained that no one kidnapped him, and that all this time he was with his aunt in Astrakhan.

However, after Aslanbek provided testimony with regard to this criminal case, he disappeared again. This time without a trace.

On 24 February 2010 a criminal case was initiated based on this fact under part 1 Article 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“murder”).

In the course of this case investigation Aslanbek’s aunt – Shukran Kukulayeva– reported to the investigators that her nephew indeed came to her in Astrakhan and told her that he was kidnapped by the police officers and was kept on the territory of the Special Police Force base in Grozny, however, he managed to escape from there.

In May 2017, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in the interests of Aslanbek’s mother – Mariya Malayeva – with regard to the fact of possible violation of his son’s right to life, as well as with regard to the absence of effective investigation of the circumstances of his obscure disappearance.

Today, the European Court of Human Rights acknowledged that the Russian authorities violated Article 2 of the European Convention (“right to life”) with regard to obscure disappearance and possible death of Aslanbek Saydakhmadov in 2009 and non-effective investigation of this fact. With regard to his mother Mariya Malayeva, the Strasbourg judges established a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention (“prohibition of torture”) due to her moral sufferings inflicted by the disappearance of her son, and due to the authorities’ reaction to her disappearance. Malayeva received a compensation of sixty thousand euro.

At the present time, no persons involved in Aslanbek abduction and possible murder have not been identified.