Постановление Европейского суда по правам человека от 08.04.2010 «Дело Садулаева (sadulayeva) против России» [англ.]

Город принятия

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
FIRST SECTION
CASE OF SADULAYEVA v. RUSSIA
(Application No. 38570/05)
JUDGMENT*
(Strasbourg, 8.IV.2010)
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*This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Sadulayeva v. Russia,

The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:

Christos Rozakis, President,

Nina {Vajic}*,

____________________________
*Здесь и далее по тексту слова на национальном языке набраны латинским шрифтом и выделены фигурными скобками.

Anatoly Kovler,

Elisabeth Steiner,

Khanlar Hajiyev,

Dean Spielmann,

Sverre Erik Jebens, judges,

and {Soren} Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 18 March 2010,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

PROCEDURE
1. The case originated in an application (No. 38570/05) against the Russian Federation lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention") by a Russian national, Ms Chovka (also known as Aymani) Sadulayeva, on 16 September 2005.

2. The applicant was represented by lawyers of the NGO EHRAC/Memorial Human Rights Centre. The Russian Government ("the Government") were represented by their Agent, Mr G. Matyushkin, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.

3. On 22 April 2008 the Court decided to apply Rule 41 of the Rules of Court and to grant priority treatment to the application and to give notice of the application to the Government. Under the provisions of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention, it decided to examine the merits of the application at the same time as its admissibility. The President of the Chamber acceded to the Government's request not to make publicly accessible the documents from the criminal investigation file deposited with the Registry in connection with the application (Rule 33 of the Rules of Court).

4. The Government objected to the joint examination of the admissibility and merits of the application. Having considered the Government's objection, the Court dismissed it.

THE FACTS
I. The circumstances of the case
5. The applicant was born in 1947. She lives in the village of Martan-Chu, in the Urus-Martan district of Chechnya.

A. Disappearance of Aslan Sadulayev and subsequent events
1. The applicant's account
a. The abduction of the applicant's son
6. At the material time the applicant's son Aslan Sadulayev lived in a village in the Naurskiy district of Chechnya while the applicant and his other relatives lived in the Urus-Martan district of Chechnya.

7. On 9 December 2002 Aslan Sadulayev went to Urus-Martan to celebrate a holiday with his relatives. There he met an acquaintance, Mr M.M., who gave him a lift in his purple VAZ-2109 car to the nearby village of Alkhazurovo. In the early afternoon of 9 December 2002, on their way back from the village to Urus-Martan, Mr M.M. also agreed to give a lift to his acquaintance Ms T.S. and a young man.

8. The car with Mr M.M., Aslan Sadulayev, Ms. T.S. and the young man was stopped by Russian military servicemen at the intersection of the roads to Komsomolskoye village, Alkhazurovo and Urus-Martan. That day a mobile checkpoint of Russian military forces on two APCs (armoured personnel carriers) was conducting identity checks at the intersection. The servicemen let Ms T.S. go; she managed to get a lift in another car and left.

9. At that time a bus going from Urus-Martan to Alkhazurovo was also stopped at the intersection. The bus had many passengers, including Ms Khamila D., Ms Kaypa A. and Ms Tamara S. The servicemen checked the identity documents of two young men who were on the bus.

10. Meanwhile, the bus passengers saw from the windows that the servicemen at the intersection were checking the documents of the three men in the purple VAZ car. Ms Tamara S. and Ms Khamila D. recognised one of them as their acquaintance Aslan Sadulayev. They saw that the servicemen were not letting the three men go and that the APCs moved and surrounded the VAZ car. Ms Khamila D. tried to get out of the bus and ask the officers why they were detaining Aslan Sadulayev, but the servicemen ordered her to stay on board.

11. The three women and other bus passengers saw the VAZ car surrounded by the APCs drove away in the direction of Urus-Martan.

12. In support of her statements, the applicant submitted: an account of events by her; an account by Ms Kh.E.; an account by Ms Kaypa A.; an account by Ms Khamila D. and an account by Ms Tamara S., all dated 1 August 2006.

b. Subsequent events
13. On 14 December 2002 a resident of Martan-Chu, known to the applicant under the name of Mr Rizvan (also spelled as Rezvan), visited the applicant. He told her that Mr M.M. had asked him to inform her that her son Aslan Sadulayev had been abducted by Russian military servicemen. Mr Rizvan agreed to take the applicant the next day to his meeting with Mr M.M. in Urus-Martan.

14. In the morning of 15 December 2002 the applicant with Mr Rizvan arrived at Urus-Martan. At about midday they met Mr M.M., who informed the applicant about his car journey with Aslan Sadulayev on 9 December 2002. He told her that their car had been stopped at the intersection by Russian military servicemen. The officers had told the men in the car that they would take them to the Urus-Martan district military commander's office (the district military commander's office) for questioning and would release them afterwards. At the entrance to the district military commander's office Mr M.M. had met an acquaintance of his who worked there and who arranged his immediate release. Mr M.M. also told the applicant that the military officers had not returned his purple VAZ car and that he had not seen it since. He further promised to the applicant that he would arrange her son's release later in the evening and that she should wait for him at 5 p.m. at the local market in Urus-Martan.

15. The applicant waited for Mr M.M. at the agreed place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., but he did not turn up. For the next three days the applicant waited there for him, to no avail. The applicant searched for Mr M.M. through Mr Rizvan. The latter introduced her to the sister of Mr M.M., Ms Z.M., who informed the applicant that she had heard about the abduction of Aslan Sadulayev and that she had been unable to find Mr M.M. for several days.

16. According to the applicant, at some point after 2005 she contacted her acquaintances in the village of Goy-Chu and inquired whether Ms T.S., who had been in the same car with Aslan Sadulayev when it had been stopped at the intersection, lived there and worked in the local school. She had been told that Ms T.S. had indeed worked at the school and lived in the village, but she had got married and changed her maiden name to Ms T.I.

17. The applicant also submitted that she had managed to find out that the serviceman she had known by the name of Mr Rizvan was in fact Mr I.Kh., a resident of Goyskoye village, who had been serving at the district military commander's office in 2002 and who had been killed in 2004. She further stated that shortly after the commencement of the criminal investigation she had informed the investigators that Mr M.M. had frequently visited Urus-Martan; that he had been married to Ms M.D. from Grozny, that he had had two children, had been registered as a resident of Komsomolskoye village and that he had had a temporary identification document.

2. Information submitted by the Government
18. The Government did not challenge most of the facts as presented by the applicant. According to their submission, "...in connection with the abduction of A.S. Sadulayev which had taken place on 9 December 2002 on the road between Alkhazurovo and Martan-Chu, the Urus-Martan district prosecutor's office opened criminal case No. 34010..."
B. The official investigation of the abduction
1. Information submitted by the applicant
19. Since 9 December 2002 the applicant has repeatedly applied in person and in writing to various public bodies. She has been supported in her efforts by the Memorial NGO. In her letters to the authorities the applicant referred to her son's abduction and asked for assistance and details of the investigation. Most of these enquiries have remained unanswered, or purely formal replies have been given in which the applicant's requests have been forwarded to various prosecutors' offices. The applicant submitted some of her letters to the authorities and their replies to the Court. These documents are summarised below.

20. On 18 and 19 December 2002 the applicant complained about her son's abduction to a number of local law enforcement agencies, including the military commander's office, the Urus-Martan district prosecutor's office (the district prosecutor's office) and the Urus-Martan district department of the interior (the Urus-Martan ROVD). She described the circumstances of her son's abduction by armed men in military vehicles at the Russian military forces checkpoint and requested assistance in establishing his whereabouts.

21. On 15 January, 3 June and 9 July 2003 the Chechnya prosecutor's office forwarded the applicant's complaints about her son's abduction by armed servicemen in camouflage uniforms to the district prosecutor's office for examination.

22. On 31 January 2003 the district prosecutor's office instituted an investigation into the disappearance of Aslan Sadulayev under Article 126 § 2 of the Criminal Code (aggravated kidnapping). The case file was given the number 34010.

23. On 31 March 2003 the district prosecutor's office granted the applicant victim status in the criminal case.

24. On 31 March, 5 June 2003 and 27 April 2004 the district prosecutor's office informed the applicant that the investigation in criminal case No. 34010 had been suspended for failure to establish the identities of the perpetrators.

25. On 5 April 2003 the military prosecutor's office of military unit No. 20102 forwarded the applicant's request for assistance in the search for her son to the district military commander's office.

26. On 30 April 2003 and 27 October 2004 the investigators resumed the investigation in the criminal case and informed the applicant about it.

27. On 23 July 2003 the military prosecutor's office of the United Group Alignment (the military prosecutor's office of the UGA) forwarded the applicant's request for assistance in the search for her son to the military prosecutor's office of military unit No. 20102.

28. On 31 May 2004 the applicant wrote to the district prosecutor's office asking them to grant her civil plaintiff status in the criminal case. On 9 June 2004 the district prosecutor's office granted the request and informed the applicant about it.

29. At some point in the autumn of 2007 the investigation of the criminal case was transferred to the Achkhoy-Martan district prosecutor's office. The applicant was neither informed about it nor about any of the subsequent steps taken by the investigators.

2. Information submitted by the Government
30. On 18 December 2002 the applicant complained about her son's abduction to a number of local law-enforcement authorities, including the district prosecutor's office, the military commander's office and the Urus-Martan ROVD. She stated that at about 3 p.m. on 9 December 2002 her son Aslan Sadulayev had been abducted at a mobile checkpoint of the Russian military forces by servicemen of an unidentified power structure. According to her complaint, after the purple VAZ car with her son and Mr M.M. had been stopped at the checkpoint, the car and the men inside it had been driven away in an unknown direction under the guard of military vehicles. The car's driver, Mr M.M., had been kicked out of the car on the road between Urus-Martan and Goyty village, whereas Aslan Sadulayev had been taken to an unknown destination. The applicant further stated that she had learnt about her son's abduction from Mr M.M. only on 12 December 2002.

31. On 28 January 2003 an officer of the Urus-Martan ROVD questioned the father of Aslan Sadulayev, Mr S.S., who stated that on 12 December 2002 he had leant that on 9 December 2002 his son had been detained at the checkpoint of the Russian federal forces located at the crossroads between the settlements of Komsomolskoye and Alkhazurovo. Aslan Sadulayev had been a passenger in a dark-blue VAZ-2109 car, which had been stopped by military servicemen, who had taken him and another man away. The servicemen had kicked the third man, Mr M., out of the car.

32. On 28 January 2003 an officer of the Urus-Martan ROVD questioned the applicant, who stated that on 9 December 2002 her son Aslan Sadulayev had been on his way from Alkhazurovo to Urus-Martan, when the dark-blue VAZ-2109 car he was in had been stopped by military servicemen at the intersection. The servicemen had driven away the car along with its passengers, but one of the passengers, Mr M., had been kicked out of the vehicle by the servicemen at some point later.

33. On 18 February 2003 the investigators from the district prosecutor's office questioned the applicant, who stated that at about 3 p.m. on 9 December 2002 her son Aslan Sadulayev had been detained by unknown men at a federal forces mobile checkpoint located at the junction near Komsomolskoye village. According to the applicant, her son had been riding with Mr. M.M. and another man in a purple VAZ-2109 car when their car was stopped at the checkpoint. After that Aslan Sadulayev and Mr M.M. had been taken away, but the latter had been released at some point later. A few days later Mr M.M. had told the applicant about her son's arrest and promised to help her to get Aslan Sadulayev released. However, her son had not been released and she had not had any news of him ever since. The applicant further provided Mr M.M.'s description and stated that she had spoken with his sister, Ms Z.M., who had told her that her other brother, Mr Mu.M., had witnessed the detention of Aslan Sadulayev and Mr M.M. at the checkpoint, when he had also been stopped there for an identity check.

34. On 18 February 2003 military unit No. 6779 informed the investigators that they had not detained Aslan Sadulayev on 9 December 2002.

35. On an unspecified date in February - March 2003 the Chechnya Ministry of the Interior (the MVD) informed the investigators that they had neither opened criminal proceedings against Aslan Sadulayev nor detained him.