Once Again, Putin’s Russia Convicted of State-Sponsored Murder in Chechnya

The Associated Press reports:

Russia must pay damages to the families of 13 Chechens presumed dead after being abducted during armed raids between 2001 and 2003 in Chechnya, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday. The court — the legal arm of the Council of Europe rights watchdog — said Russia was responsible for the men’s disappearances and should pay damages and court fees totaling around euro531,000 ($679,000).

The rights court was set up after World War II to uphold the European Convention on Human Rights, but has no power to enforce its rulings. As a member of the council, Russia is obliged to uphold the convention. Failure to implement the rulings would place the issue before the Council of Europe, which could issue an order demanding Russia do so.

The court gave Thursday’s rulings in three cases involving 35 relatives of the missing men. The court said evidence presented by the families “established beyond a reasonable doubt” that the men “had to be presumed dead,” because Russian authorities failed to present proof to the contrary.

There was no immediate comment from Moscow, where in the past officials have denied that Russian security forces are guilty of atrocities in the southern Muslim republic of Chechnya.

The rulings said Russia violated the rights of the abducted, restricting their right to life and failing to conduct a proper investigation to explain why the 13 were taken, with some put in temporary detention “in manifest contradiction” to guarantees under Russian law. The rulings also said Russia violated relatives’ rights.

Russia has three months to appeal after which the ruling becomes binding.

Dozens of other similar cases are still pending at the court. Two wars have been fought to re-establish Russian control in Chechnya following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Recently, survivors and relatives of Chechen victims have sought — and won — reparations from the Strasbourg-based human rights court.

Russians have filed about 46,000 complaints with the rights court since 1998, most concerning noncompliance with Russian court rulings.

11 responses to “Once Again, Putin’s Russia Convicted of State-Sponsored Murder in Chechnya

  1. As far as I know, they never get any money (some earned bullet to the head for their troubles).

    It’s practically symbolic, and now, after dozens of cases, the news agencies even stopped reporting the names of the victims and circumstances – it became a pure routine, practically another statistic.

    About the cases from North Caucasus (87 cases decided already since 2006):
    http://www.srji.org/en/legal/cases

  2. It’s practically symbolic (as far as I know, the plantiffs never see any money), and now, after dozens of cases, the news agencies even stopped reporting the names of the victims and circumstances – it became a pure routine, practically another statistic.

    About the cases from North Caucasus (87 cases decided already since 2006):
    http://www.srji.org/en/legal/cases

  3. I wonder whom the families of thousands of Russians, who lived in Chechnya prior to the war and were murdered and ethnically cleansed by chechen islamofascists during the 91-93 period, should sue?

  4. Actually AKM, many of them were killed by Russian soldiers too.

    The Russians treated all civillians in Chechnya, regardless of their political leanings, as target practice.

  5. “I wonder whom the families of thousands of Russians, who lived in Chechnya prior to the war and were murdered and ethnically cleansed by chechen islamofascists during the 91-93 period, should sue?”

    The Russian government, I guess? Or their assailants if they know them? Oh wait, but they don’t. Why? Maybe because it didn’t happen.

    Andrew,

    Heck, they were even murdering at random members of local friendly forces. Like in this case:

    Kukayev v. Russia, (29361/02)

    On 26 November 2000, Aslanbek Kukayev, a Chechen OMON officer, was detained along with other policemen of Chechen origin during a “sweeping-up” operation at Grozny central market. Some of the policemen were released later that day, whereas Kukayev disappeared after being apprehended. On 22 April 2001, two corpses bearing signs of a violent death were found in a basement located close to the spot where Kukayev was last seen alive. One of the bodies was identified as Aslanbek Kukayev. The criminal investigation into his death has not produced any results.

    Or this:

    Asadulayeva and Others v. Russia, (15569/06)

    On 14 January 2004 around 12 p.m. Bekman Asadulayev, a police officer, arrived at the Chechnya Department of the Ministry of the Interior in Grozny with two colleagues. Having passed through security and entered the building they were approached by several armed servicemen. The servicemen checked their identity cards and apprehended Bekman. They put him in their VAZ car and drove past security without being stopped. Bekman has not been seen since. The investigation into his disappearance has not produced any results.

    Or in this one:

    Israilova and 15 Others v. Russia, (4571/04)

    On 30 December 2002, Adlan Dovtayev was driving from Grozny to Urus-Martan with four acquaintances. Sharpuddin Israilov followed the same route accompanied by three police officers. At about 5.00 p.m. when Dovtayev’s car was approaching a federal military check-point, two armoured personnel carriers (“APCs”) crossed its path. The passengers of the APCs, armed men wearing camouflaged uniforms and masks, fired at the car and forced it to stop. Dovtayev and his passengers were forcibly loaded into the APCs. At about 5.30 p.m. Israilov’s car approached the same military check-point. Not far from the check-point, a group of armed men forced the car to stop. The men fired at the car with machine-guns wounding Israilov and two of his passengers. The four men were thereafter driven to the woods. On the way, one of the wounded passengers died. All apprehended men, including Dovtayev and Israilov, were driven to the Khankala military federal base. The servicemen interrogated the detainees, beat and tortured them with electricity forcing them to confess in participation in a terrorist attack. On 31 December 2002, Dovtayev and Israilov were blindfolded and put in an UAZ vehicle that drove away. They have not been seen since. Their families have requested assistance in establishing their whereabouts from numerous official bodies but to no avail. The criminal investigation into their case has not produced any results.

    Not only citiziens of Russia (regardless of ethnicity – bombs don’t choose), but even the Russian policemen were victims.

  6. Also, judgements in the cases of murders of these Russian policemen by the Russian state fascists (Islamofascists, Christianofascists, atheofascists or whatever fascists, as the fascists remain unidentified):

    Kukayev v. Russia, (29361/02)
    http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?action=html&documentId=825673&portal=hbkm&source=externalbydocnumber&table=F69A27FD8FB86142BF01C1166DEA398649

    “At around 1 p.m. the applicant’s son, D. and several other police officers of Chechen origin detained during the operation, including Mr Dzh., were put into a GAZ 66 truck with an emblem representing a rampant horse on its doors, which then drove off. (…) According to the applicant, on 27 November 2000 the central Russian television broadcaster announced that a number of members of illegal armed groups had been apprehended during a “sweeping-up” operation in the vicinity of Grozny central market. (…) On 7 August 2001 a military expert medical commission of the Chechen Department of the Interior (военно-врачебная комиссия УВД МВД РФ по Чеченской Республике) issued a certificate stating that Aslanbek Kukayev, an officer of the special police unit of the Chechen Department of the Interior, had died on 26 November 2000 as a result of a “gunshot wound to the head and fracture of the cranial bones”.”

    Israilova and 15 Others v. Russia, (4571/04)
    http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?action=html&documentId=819554&portal=hbkm&source=externalbydocnumber&table=F69A27FD8FB86142BF01C1166DEA398649

    “As they passed a checkpoint near Chernoreche, an APC drove out of a nearby forest and opened fire on their vehicle, killing one of the policemen and wounding Israilov and one other man. The soldiers put Israilov and the two policemen in the APC, and threw the third policeman’s dead body on top. Five other detainees, including Adlan Dovtaev, were already inside the APC. (…) The men were taken to Khankala military base where Russian soldiers interrogated, beat, and tortured them with electric shocks. On January 1, 2003, soldiers took Israilov and Dovtaev away and the other detainees did not see them again.”

  7. And civilian workers for the police too:

    Yusupova and Zaurbekov v. Russia, (22057/02)

    On 17 October 2000 Abdulkasim Zaurbekov entered the temporary police precinct in the October district of Grozny to collect his pay for work done at the precinct as a car mechanic. Zaurbekov never exited the police precinct and remains missing to this day. Zaurbekov’s wife Roza Yusupova has unsuccessfully looked for her husband ever since. Russian prosecutors launched a criminal investigation but the investigation has yielded no results.

    In this case the fascisist were from Khanty-Mansiysk, like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Lapin – claiming insanity like Budanov, a medal from Putin “for protecting public order”…

  8. Oh, and still another one:

    Dangayeva and Taramova v. Russia, (1896/04)

    On 23 October 2002, Saikhasan Dangayev, a senior bailiff, was at his home in Grozny together with his family when 9-10 armed men in camouflage and masks entered the family’s courtyard asking whether there were any weapons in the house. While Dangayev showed them his officer’s badge, one of the servicemen was shouting at a woman present, using swearwords. When Dangayev told the man to watch his language, the servicemen started hitting him. When Dangayev made a grab for his duty weapon, the servicemen shot him several times and then left the courtyard. Dangayev died several minutes later from the wounds. An investigation into the incident has not established who carried out the alleged document check and killed Dangayev.

    The fascists were killing EVERYONE – an open season.

  9. Btw, it’s not conviction, unfortunately – no one goes to jail. It’s only a ruling, judgement, condemnation.

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