The European Court has started trying a disappearance case from Chechnya dating back to October last year


18 October 2010

 Having started dealing with the application of Raisa Turluyeva from Chechnya, the European Court of Human rights has asked the Russian Federation a number of questions about the fate of her missing son and the quality of the official investigation into the fact of his disappearance. The Government’s reaction will be decisive for the outcome of the proceedings.  

   Raisa’s son – Sayd-Salekh Ibragimov, born in 1990 – was detained on 21 October 2009 by officers of the external guard regiment of the Ministry of the Interior of Chechnya, also known as the “oil regiment” as one of their main tasks was to secure oil pipes and installations. Further fate of Sayd-Salekh Ibragimov is not known. According to external guard officers, they released him at night on 21-22 October 2009. Ibragimov’s relatives, however, believe that he was not set free.

Criminal proceedings upon the fact of Ibragimov’s disappearance were instigated only on 28 December 2009, the investigation is still underway. At the same time, there are reasons to claim that the official inquiry is ineffective.

Therefore, in December 2009 specialists of the Memorial Human Rights Centre filed an application to the ECtHR.  

The ECtHR has asked Russia 4 questions:

– Has the right to life been violated in respect of Sayd-Salekh Ibragimov? Was the authorities’ reaction in the present case sufficient to comply with the positive obligation to safeguard the right to life?

– Has the investigation in the present case by the domestic authorities been sufficient to meet their obligation to carry out an effective investigation?

– Has Raisa Turluyeva’s mental suffering caused by the abduction of her son been sufficiently serious to amount to inhuman treatment, within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention?

– Was Sayd-Salekh Ibragimov unlawfully deprived of his liberty?

Russia is requested to submit a copy of the entire investigation file in criminal case instituted in connection with the kidnapping of Sayd-Salekh Ibragimov.

In the nearest future the Russian federation is to provide its observations to the Court.

It should be mentioned that lawyers of the Joint Mobile Group of Russian human rights NGOs are dealing with the case related to Sayd-Salekh’s abduction. From the moment of its creation in November 2009 the JMG has many times faced the reluctance of the investigation authorities to investigate disappearance cases and basically refrained from performing the required investigative steps to identify those responsible for such grave crimes.   

For example, the investigator dealing with Sayd-Salekh’s abduction has not yet organized a confrontation between a witness and the head of the oil regiment.  For sure, this fact will catch the eye of the ECtHR and contribute to the negative assessment of the investigation effectiveness.

Here you can find more information about the facts of Raisa Turluyeva’s case and ECtHR’s questions to the parties.

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