Today, on 26 March 2015, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has passed a ruling in the case of Bavaladi Jebrailov abduction in Gekhi settlement of the Chechen Republic in 2005 and of the battery of his brother Salavdi. The Strasbourg judges acknowledged 8 violations of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, in particular, they established that Balavdi Jebrailov was abducted by the state representatives, and his brother Salavdi was beaten up by the them.
(Photo: Balavdi Jebrailov)
As we have previously reported, on 7 January 2010 Salavdi Jebrailov applied to Joint Mobile Group working in the Chechen Republic (JMG) asking for legal assistance and conducting a public investigation. According to Salavdi, on 26 April 2005 some armed men in camouflage, forced into the household of the Jebrailov family situated in Gekhi settlement and using violence took his brother Balavdi and himself to Grozny.
According to Salavdi, he and his brother Balavdi were taken to the territory of 2-nd regiment of the Patrol-Guard Service of the Ministry of the Interior of the Chechen Republic, brought to the basement and taken to different rooms. As Salavdi remembers, after half an hour of battery he was taken away and dropped off in the area of the town «northern market». What happened to his brother and what fate befell him remains a mystery to the applicant ever since.
Despite this extremely delayed application to the human rights defenders the lawyers of the Joint Mobile Group commenced conducting the public investigation. They collected explanations from Jebrailov’s relatives and neighbors, already in the status of the victim’s representatives they filed motions on conducting a number of investigative activities, as well as on familiarization with materials of the criminal case which was opened as far back as on 20 May 2005 under part 2 of Article 126 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code («abduction»).
However, the human rights defenders attempts to monitor the progress of the investigation as the victim’s representatives were unsuccessful due to security classification which was assigned to a number of the materials of this criminal case and actually deprived the JMG lawyers of the possibility to take any meaningful part in it. At the moment the criminal case on Balavdi abduction is suspended. The guilty party has not been punished or even identified. Balavdi has not been found.
As early as in 2007 the lawyers of human rights protection center «Memorial» lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in the interests of both Jebrailov brothers and their parents.
In today’s decision the Strasbourg judges unanimously established that:
– Balavdi Jebrailov was abducted by the RF authorities representatives and his fate remains unknown ever since, which caused a violation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights;
– The authorities did not perform effective investigation of the fact of Balavdi’s abduction which also became a violation of Article 2 of the ECHR;
– The authorities violated Article 3 of the ECHR with regards to Salavdi Jebrailov in relation to prohibition of torture;
– The authorities violated Article 3 of the ECHR with regards to Salavdi Jebrailov in the part of failure to perform effective investigation of the fact of unlawful violence;
– Sufferings of Balavdi’s brother and parents led to violation of Article 3 of the ECHR («Prohibition of torture»);
– In relation of Salavdi and Balavdi Jebrailov Article 5 of the ECHR was violated («Right to security of person»);
– The applicants did not have legal remedy in violation of Article 13 of the ECHR.
Based on this Bavladi’s parents (Shuddi Vakhayev and Isita Jebrailova) and his brother Salavdi were awarded 60 000 euro of compensation. In addition, Salavdi Jebrailov was awarded a separate compensation of 19 500 euro due to his battery.
Lawyer of the Joint Mobile Group Anton Ryzhov comments today’s decision of the ECHR: «Dozens of rulings regularly passed by the Strasbourg Court on abductions and tortures by law-enforcement agencies in Chechnya do not surprise anyone any longer, this practice was proved and recorded in full. However, it is notable that in this case the issue is not only the abduction, when it is rather difficult to establish the circumstances of the crime, but there is a torture issue as well; there is a living witness who describes in detail where he and his brother were taken, what type of vehicles were used, etc. However, even in this case the work of the investigative authorities was incomplete and inefficient which in the end was established by the ECHR».