The case of Zarema Musaeva does not involve only the court hearings in Grozny, which we cover a lot. For a year already, the CAT lawyers have been trying to obtain from the Nizhny Novgorod supervisory authorities an assessment of how legal the transportation of Zarema from Nizhny Novgorod to Chechnya was.
During this time, we submitted 21 motions, 25 applications, 12 submissions, 3 requests and 3 claims of abuse of office by law-enforcement authorities. 13 court hearings were held in regard to our applications. We waited for some applications to be responded to for about a year, and for some others we have not received answers till now. The investigator forwarded the majority of them from Nizhny Novgorod to Chechnya.
On 31 December, we received a gift from the Prosecutor’s Office, which can be called a rare even in the human rights practice. The Nizhny Novgorod Prosecutor’s Office declared illegal the actions of the head of the Investigative Committee Investigative Department, who forwarded the crime reports on Zarema Musaeva case to Chechnya
It is surprising, but in this case the help arrived from unexpected place, namely, from Head of the Investigative Department for the Chechen Republic. In the actual fact, doing the work of the Nizhny Novgorod law-enforcement officers, back in July 2022, he detected gross violations in receiving crime reports on the case of Zarema Musaeva and returned the materials.
Recently, we received a second dismissal of the claim to open a criminal case with regard to forceful delivery of Musaeva. It is known that the investigator submitted two requests with requirement to question the police officers from Chechnya and Zarema herself, but did not receive a single answer. At the present time, the check is suspended, again.
There is another story line in the case of Musaeva. In the evening, when Zarema was being taken from her apartment, our colleague Lyudmila Kukhnina (in a personal capacity) called to the call center of the Ministry of the Interior of the Nizhny Novgorod region. She informed that Zarema was being taken out of the city by unknown persons, allegedly, the Chechen law-enforcement officers. Instead of reacting to the crime report, the police officers took Kukhnina to the district department to provide explanations.
However, on that night the police officers failed to work with regard to Lyudmila’s application, and if they did – they never reported the results. After four visits to court with a complaint about non-notification, we were informed that the police officers with Police Department No.8 of Nizhny Novgorod were subjected to disciplinary action and received a verbal reprimand.
All this might have been considered a good result, if it did not take so much time and effort. Extraordinary number of obstacles had to be overcome to force the investigative authorities at least to start the check and acknowledge the violations. Now, the only thing that’s left to do is to ensure that the check is performed in a proper way.