Постановление Европейского суда по правам человека от 03.06.2010 «Дело Алапаевы (alapayevy) против России» [англ.]

Город принятия

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
FIRST SECTION
CASE OF ALAPAYEVY v. RUSSIA
(Application No. 39676/06)
JUDGMENT*
(Strasbourg, 3.VI.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 Alapayevy 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,

Giorgio Malinverni,

George Nicolaou, judges,

and {Soren} Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 11 May 2010,

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

PROCEDURE
1. The case originated in an application (No. 39676/06) 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 two Russian nationals, Ms Lidiya Alapayeva and Ms Tamila Alapayeva ("the applicants"), on 12 September 2006.

2. The applicants were 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, the Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.

3. On 17 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 it 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 the documents from the criminal investigation file deposited with the Registry in connection with the application publicly accessible (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 applicants were born in 1961 and 1984, respectively. They live in the village of Sernovodsk, in the Sunzhenskiy District, the Chechen Republic.

6. The first applicant is the mother and the second applicant is the wife of Mr Salambek Alapayev, born in 1982.

A. Disappearance of Salambek Alapayev
1. The applicants' account
7. At the material time the first applicant, Salambek Alapayev, the second applicant and their son, and Salman Alapayev (Salambek Alapayev's 75-year old grandfather, now deceased) lived together at 24, Demiyana Bednogo Street, in the village of Sernovodsk, in the Sunzhenskiy District, the Chechen Republic.

8. Salambek Alapayev was employed in a private company trading in medical equipment, "Med-Intel", until November 2004. The company's seat was in Nalchik, in the Kabardino-Balkariya Republic.

9. On the night of 26 December 2004 the family, except the first applicant, who was attending funerals in another village, was sleeping in their house at the above address. At about 3 a.m. on 27 December 2004 the second applicant and Salambek Alapayev were woken up by a noise coming from the front door. A group of eight to twelve armed men in camouflage uniforms burst into the house. They were not wearing masks and were speaking Russian. They neither introduced themselves nor presented any documents. The second applicant inferred that they were servicemen.

10. Three servicemen started kicking Salman Alapayev, while four others grabbed Salambek Alapayev and started beating him with rifle-butts and their boots. The servicemen ordered the second applicant to stay in her room; two of them guarded her. From there the applicant heard the sound of her husband being beaten and begged the servicemen to stop. She also heard the intruders binding Salambek Alapayev's hands with adhesive tape. The servicemen ordered the second applicant to fetch her husband's passport. When she brought it over, together with his driving licence, they took it away. After that the servicemen conducted a quick search of the house. They did not provide any explanation for their actions or reply to her questions as to where and why they were taking her husband.

11. Having spent a short time in the applicant's house, the intruders went outside, dragging Salambek Alapayev, bound and barefoot, with them. Despite the servicemen's orders, the second applicant followed them outside. At the front door she saw Salman Alapayev lying on the ground. He was bleeding and unconscious. At the entrance to the house the servicemen had left the claw hammer with which they had taken the door off its hinges. Outside the second applicant saw the servicemen leave with Salambek Alapayev in a grey UAZ vehicle and a white Gazel vehicle. The abductors' vehicles passed through the roadblock located at the exit from the village to the Baku motorway.

12. A number of neighbours witnessed the abduction of Salambek Alapayev. In particular, at about 3 a.m. on 27 December 2004 L.U. and M.T. saw an APC (armoured personnel carrier) and other vehicles stop at the applicants' house. Both women heard screaming and noise coming from the house, and people speaking Russian. At about 3 a.m. on 27 December 2004 Kh.Kh., who was at her grandmother's house at 22, Demyana Bednogo Street, and Zul.A., another neighbour, were woken up by noise coming from the applicants' house. When they rushed outside, they saw Salambek Alapayev, being taken away tied up and barefoot by unidentified persons. The abductors had several vehicles, including a grey UAZ vehicle and a white Gazel vehicle. The applicants' neighbour Zur.A., who was woken up at about 3 a.m. on 27 December 2004 by noise coming from the applicants' house, tried to go outside but was prevented from doing so by several armed men in camouflage uniforms and masks who ordered her to get back inside her house.

13. Shortly after the armed men had left, the neighbours gathered at the applicants' house. There they saw that the front door had been forced and that Salman Alapayev was lying on the ground, unconscious and bleeding. Zal.A. and Z.B. immediately went to the local department of the interior and alerted the police officers about the abduction of Salambek Alapayev. The servicemen on duty at the entry to the ROVD told them that their vehicles had not left for any operations on that night and that no one had been brought to the ROVD. At the women's request the servicemen called the Achkhoy-Martanovskiy District Department of the Interior. The latter body informed them that they had no relevant information.

14. The applicants have had no news of Salambek Alapayev since 27 December 2004.

15. The above description of the events is based on written statements by the first and second applicants made on 5 February and 1 March 2006 respectively; interview transcripts of the first and second applicants' interviews by their representatives, conducted on 20 February and 11 May 2005 respectively; written statements by Zul.A., Zal.A., Zur.A. and Z.B., made on 4 February 2006, and written statements by L.U., M.T. and Kh.Kh., made on 5 February 2006.

2. Information submitted by the Government
16. The Government submitted that on the night of 27 December 2004 unidentified persons wearing camouflage uniforms had abducted Salambek Alapayev from his house at 24, Demyana Bednogo Street, Sernovodsk, and had taken him to an unknown destination.

B. The search for Salambek Alapayev and the investigation
1. The applicants' account
17. Since 27 December 2004 the applicants have repeatedly applied in person and in writing to various public bodies. They have been supported in their efforts by the NGO SRJI. In their letters to the authorities the applicants referred to their relative's abduction and asked for assistance and details of the investigation. These enquiries mostly remained unanswered, or purely formal replies were given stating that the applicants' requests had been forwarded to various prosecutors' offices. The applicants submitted some of the letters to the authorities and the replies to the Court, which are summarised below.

18. On 28 December 2004 investigators of the Sunzhenskiy District Department of the Interior (the ROVD) arrived at the applicants' house. They conducted a crime scene examination and seized the claw hammer left by the abductors.

19. On the same day the first applicant complained about the abduction of Salambek Alapayev to the Security Council of the President of the Chechen Republic.

20. On 30 December 2004 the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic ("the republican prosecutor's office") forwarded the first applicant's complaint about her son's abduction to the Achkhoy-Martanovskiy district prosecutor's office ("the district prosecutor's office") for examination.

21. On 30 December 2004 the district prosecutor's office instituted an investigation into the abduction of Salambek Alapayev under Article 126 § 2 of the Criminal Code (aggravated kidnapping). The criminal case file was given number 59000.

22. On 16 February 2005 the first applicant wrote to the district prosecutor's office. In her letter she described in detail the circumstances of her son's abduction by a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms. She also stated that the abductors, who had arrived in military vehicles, had beaten her relatives and refused to provide any reasons for her son's apprehension. The applicant also pointed out that on the night of the abduction a number of her neighbours had witnessed the vehicles pulling up to her house and leaving with Salambek Alapayev. Lastly, she stated that her numerous complaints to various law enforcement authorities had failed to produce any results.

23. On 26 March 2005 the first applicant wrote to the prosecutor of the Chechen Republic. She described in detail the circumstances of her son's abduction by a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms, who had arrived in military vehicles, had beaten her relatives and refused to provide the reason for her son's apprehension. The applicant also pointed out that on the night of the events a number of her neighbours had witnessed the vehicles pulling up to her house and leaving with Salambek Alapayev. She further stated that while her son had been working in Nazran, the flat of colleagues of his in that town had been robbed. Salambek Alapayev had allegedly told the first applicant that he had succeeded in obtaining some unspecified information on that incident. The first applicant suggested that that information might have been relevant for the investigation. Lastly, she stated that her numerous complaints to various law enforcement bodies had failed to produce any results.

24. On 17 June 2005 the republican prosecutor's office forwarded the first applicant's complaint about her son's abduction to the district prosecutor's office for inclusion in criminal case No. 59000.

25. On 30 June 2005 the Chechen department of the Federal Security Service ("the Chechen department of the FSB") replied to the first applicant's request. The letter stated that they were undertaking unspecified measures to identify Salambek Alapayev's abductors and establish his whereabouts.

26. On 8 July 2005 the first applicant wrote to the Chechen department of the FSB. She described in detail the circumstances of her son's abduction by a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms. She also stated that the abductors, who had arrived in military vehicles, had beaten her relatives and refused to provide the reason for her son's apprehension. The applicant also pointed out that on the night of the events a number of her neighbours had witnessed the vehicles pulling up to her house and leaving with Salambek Alapayev. Lastly, the applicant stated that her numerous complaints to various law enforcement bodies had not produced any results.

27. On 9 July 2005 the Chechen department of the FSB replied to the first applicant that her complaint about her son's abduction had been forwarded to the district prosecutor's office for examination.

28. On 16 July 2005 the republican prosecutor's office informed the first applicant that her complaint to the Chechen department of the FSB had been included in the criminal case file. The letter also stated that operational-search measures aimed at solving the crime were under way.

29. On 3 August 2005 the first applicant wrote to the district prosecutor's office. She described in detail the circumstances of her son's abduction by a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms. She also stated that the abductors, who had arrived in military vehicles, had beaten her relatives and refused to provide the reason for her son's apprehension. The applicant also pointed out that on the night of the events a number of her neighbours had witnessed the vehicles pulling up to her house and leaving with Salambek Alapayev. Finally, the applicant stated that her numerous complaints to various law enforcement bodies had failed to produce any results.

30. On 14 October 2005 the applicants' representatives wrote to the district prosecutor's office. They requested information on the progress and the results of the investigation in criminal case No. 59000 and the investigative measures undertaken by the authorities. They also asked that the first applicant be granted the status of a victim in the criminal proceedings and be allowed to familiarise herself with the case file.

31. On 29 December 2005 the applicants' representatives filed a repeated request to the district prosecutor's office. They asked for information concerning the progress and the results of the investigation in criminal case No. 59000 and the investigative measures undertaken by the authorities. They also requested the authorities to grant the first applicant the status of a victim in the criminal proceedings and to provide for her access to the case file.

32. On 11 January 2006 the district prosecutor's office granted the first applicant victim status in connection with the proceedings in criminal case No. 59000.

33. On 2 February 2006 the first applicant wrote to the prosecutor of the Chechen Republic. She again described in detail the circumstances of her son's abduction and the ill-treatment of her relatives