Постановление Европейского суда по правам человека от 12.05.2010 «Дело Шахабова (shakhabova) против России» [англ.]

Город принятия

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
FIRST SECTION
CASE OF SHAKHABOVA v. RUSSIA
(Application No. 39685/06)
JUDGMENT*
(Strasbourg, 12.V.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 Shakhabova 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,

Giorgio Malinverni, judges,

and {Soren} Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 22 April 2010,

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

PROCEDURE
1. The case originated in an application (No. 39685/06) 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 Rayshat Shakhabova, on 20 September 2006.

2. The applicant was represented by lawyers of the Stichting Russian Justice Initiative ("SRJI"), an NGO based in the Netherlands with a representative office in Russia. The Russian Government ("the Government") were represented by Mr G. Matyushkin, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.

3. On 10 June 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 and to the application of Rule 41 of the Rules of Court. Having considered the Government's objection, the Court dismissed it.

THE FACTS
I. The circumstances of the case
5. The applicant was born in 1942 and lives in the town of Urus-Martan, in the Chechen Republic. She is the mother of Mr Adam Khurayev, born in 1978.

A. Disappearance of Adam Khurayev
1. The applicant's account
6. The applicant's house in Urus-Martan was destroyed during the military campaign in the Chechen Republic in the autumn of 1999. The applicant's family had to move temporarily to Ingushetia, where they lived at the material time. Adam Khurayev frequently visited his aunt, Ms M.M., who lived in Urus-Martan, and stayed at her house No. 14, Lomonosova Lane (the street name and the house number were later changed to 74, Kutuzova Street).

7. In the summer of 2002 Adam Khurayev and his twin brother Arbi Khurayev submitted their documents to the Urus-Martan District Department of the Interior (the ROVD) to exchange their old Soviet passports for new Russian ones. On 22 November 2002 Adam and Arbi Khurayev went to Urus-Martan to pick up their new passports. The brothers stayed at their aunt's house at the above address. At the material time the town of Urus-Martan was under curfew. The authorities maintained manned checkpoints at the entry and exit points to the town.

8. At about 10 p.m. on 23 November 2002 the family of M.M. was at home. When Adam Khurayev went outside, to the toilet located in the courtyard, a group of over fifteen armed masked men in camouflage uniforms broke into the house. The intruders neither introduced themselves nor produced any documents. The applicant's relatives thought that they were Russian servicemen. They dispersed into different rooms, pointed their guns at the family members and ordered everyone to stay in their rooms. M.M.'s daughter, Ms L.M., rushed to the window and heard the intruders order someone in Russian: "Lie on the ground!" She thought that the order must have been given to Adam Khurayev, as he was the only family member in the yard.

9. Without providing any explanations or reasons for their actions, the servicemen conducted a quick but thorough search of M.M.'s house. They did not find anything of interest to them.

10. After that the servicemen returned to the yard and walked out into the street. Shortly thereafter M.M. and L.M. heard the sound of heavy military vehicles in the street.

11. Ms. A.M., one of M.M.'s neighbours, residing at 47 Lomonosova Street, was woken up at about 10 p.m. on 23 November 2002 by the sound of heavy military vehicles in the street. She looked out of the window and saw an APC (armoured personnel carrier) and two military UAZ vehicles ("таблетка") parked in the street. A.M. did not go outside because of the curfew. According to A.M., at the material time APCs were frequently driven in Urus-Martan at night and servicemen often took young men away. About fifteen minutes later the vehicles started their engines and drove away.

12. After the servicemen had left, the applicant's relatives realised that Adam Khurayev, who had been in the courtyard, had disappeared.

13. The applicant has had no news of Adam Khurayev since 23 November 2002.

14. The above account of the events is based on the applicant's application form and written statements by M.M. and A.M., dated 10 and 11 November 2005 respectively.

2. Information submitted by the Government
15. The Government submitted that on 23 November 2002 Adam Khurayev had been abducted by unidentified persons.

B. The search for Adam Khurayev and the investigation
1. The applicant's account
(a) The applicant's search for Adam Khurayev
16. In the morning of 24 November 2002 Arbi Khurayev went to Ingushetia to inform the applicant about the disappearance of Adam Khurayev. The applicant immediately went to Urus-Martan and started searching for her son. From 24 November 2002 for almost a month the applicant, who was elderly and illiterate, complained in person about her son's disappearance to a number of local law-enforcement agencies, including the Urus-Martan district military commander's office (hereafter "the district military commander's office"), the ROVD, and the Urus-Martan district prosecutor's office ("the district prosecutor's office"). The authorities denied any involvement on the part of their officials in the abduction of Adam Khurayev.

17. The applicant's relatives assisted her in the search for Adam Khurayev. They contacted, both in person and in writing, various official bodies, such as the President of the Russian Federation, the Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation for Ensuring Human Rights and Freedoms in the Chechen Republic, the Chechen administration, departments of the interior and prosecutors' offices at different levels, asking for help in establishing the whereabouts of Adam Khurayev. The applicant retained copies of a number of those complaints and submitted them to the Court. An official investigation was opened by the district prosecutor's office. The relevant information is summarised below.

(b) The official investigation into the abduction of Adam Khurayev
18. On 23 December 2002 the applicant complained in writing about her son's disappearance to a number of State authorities, including the district military commander's office, the district prosecutor's office and the ROVD. She stated that on 22 November 2002 she and her sons Arbi and Adam had gone to Urus-Martan to obtain her sons' identity documents. At about 10 p.m. on that day armed and masked members of law-enforcement authorities, wearing camouflage uniforms, had broken into the house at No. 14 Lomonosova Street and had abducted Adam Khurayev. The intruders had used an APC and two UAZ vehicles. She stressed that prior to his abduction her son had undergone stomach surgery.

19. On 20 January 2003 the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic ("the republican prosecutor's office") forwarded the applicant's complaint about her son's abduction to the district prosecutor's office for examination.

20. On 14 February 2003 the district prosecutor's office instituted an investigation into the abduction of Adam Khurayev under Article 126 § 2 of the Criminal Code (aggravated kidnapping). The criminal case file was given number 34022.

21. On 15 March 2003 the district prosecutor's office granted the applicant the status of a victim in criminal case No. 34022.

22. On 24 April 2003 the applicant wrote to a number of State authorities, including the prosecutor and the military prosecutor of the Chechen Republic. She stated that her son had been abducted by servicemen from the law-enforcement agencies of the Urus-Martan district who had arrived in two UAZ vehicles and an APC. The applicant pointed out that her numerous complaints to various State bodies had failed to produce any results and that, apart from instituting an investigation into the abduction, the district prosecutor's office had failed to take any other measures aimed at establishing her son's whereabouts. She stressed that her son's abductors must have been representatives of the State as only they could have moved freely in the town during the curfew and used military vehicles.

23. On 22 May 2003 the republican prosecutor's office informed the applicant that on 14 February 2003 the district prosecutor's office had opened criminal case No. 34022 into the abduction of her son; that on 14 April 2003 the investigation had been suspended owing to the failure to establish the perpetrators and that unspecified operational and search measures aimed at solving the crime were under way.

24. On 9 June 2003 the military prosecutor's office of the United Group Alignment ("the UGA military prosecutor's office") forwarded the applicant's complaint about her son's abduction to the military prosecutor's office of military unit No. 20102 for examination.

25. On 17 June 2003 the republican prosecutor's office forwarded the applicant's request for assistance in the search for her son to the district prosecutor's office and instructed the latter to inform the applicant of any developments in the investigation.

26. On 30 June and 2 July 2003 the military prosecutor's office of military unit No. 20102 informed the applicant that the examination of her complaints had failed to establish any involvement of Russian servicemen in the abduction of Adam Khurayev.

27. On 11 December 2003 the applicant complained to the minister of the interior of the Chechen Republic, submitting that her son had been abducted by a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms who had arrived in two UAZ cars and an APC without number plates. She stressed that the abductors must have been State servicemen as only they could have moved freely in the town during the curfew and used military vehicles. The applicant pointed out that her numerous complaints to various State bodies had failed to produce any effect and that the criminal investigation had been suspended and reopened and had failed to produce any results.

28. On 17 December 2003 the applicant complained to the prosecutor of the Chechen Republic, stating that her son had been abducted by a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms who had arrived in two UAZ vehicles and an APC. She averred that her son's abductors must have been representatives of the State as only they could have moved freely in the town during the curfew and used military vehicles. The applicant pointed out that her numerous complaints to various State bodies had failed to produce any effect and that the criminal investigation into her son's abduction had failed to produce any results and had been suspended and reopened on a number of occasions. She emphasised that her previous complaint to the prosecutor about the inactivity of the district prosecutor's office had not produced any results. Lastly, she requested the prosecutor to oblige the district prosecutor's office to solve the crime.

29. On 13 January 2004 the republican prosecutor's office forwarded the applicant's complaint to the district prosecutor's office. The latter was to provide the applicant with detailed information on the investigation and its results.

30. On 23 January 2004 the head of the ROVD informed the applicant that they had opened an operational-search file for the search for her son and that they had sent an unspecified number of requests for information to law-enforcement agencies in the Urus-Martan District and various regions of the Russian Federation.

31. Following a complaint by the applicant to the republican prosecutor's office, on 28 January 2004 the district prosecutor's office informed her that on 28 January 2004 it had resumed the investigation in criminal case No. 34022 and that the case file had been entrusted to another investigator.

32. On 1 March 2004 the republican prosecutor's office forwarded the applicant's complaint about her son's abduction to the district prosecutor's office for inclusion into the criminal case file and instructed the latter to inform the applicant of any developments in the case. The letter also stated that the investigation in case No. 34022 had been reopened.

33. On 24 March 2004 the district prosecutor's office informed the applicant that on 28 February 2004 they had suspended the investigation in criminal case No. 34022.

34. On 27 March 2004 the ROVD informed the applicant that their numerous requests for information to various law-enforcement agencies in Chechnya and other regions had failed to produce any results.

35. On 7 May 2004 the Prosecutor General's office in the Southern Federal Circuit informed the applicant that they had forwarded her complaint about the abduction of Adam Khurayev to the republican prosecutor's office.

36. On 31 May 2004 the district prosecutor's office informed the applicant that on 31 May 2004 they had resumed the investigation in criminal case No. 34022.

37. On 17 June 2004 the republican prosecutor's office informed the applicant that all information concerning the investigation into her son's abduction was to be obtained from the district prosecutor's office.

38. On 29 July 2004 the applicant wrote to a number of State authorities, including the Urus-Martan district prosecutor and the head of the ROVD. In her letter she described the circumstances of her son's abduction and pointed out that her numerous