Постановление Европейского суда по правам человека от 10.06.2010 «Дело Вакаева и другие (vakayeva and others) против России» [англ.]

Город принятия

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
FIRST SECTION
CASE OF VAKAYEVA AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA
(Application No. 2220/05)
JUDGMENT*
(Strasbourg, 10.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 Vakayeva and Others 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,

Khanlar Hajiyev,

Dean Spielmann,

Sverre Erik Jebens,

George Nicolaou, judges,

and {Soren} Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 20 May 2010,

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

PROCEDURE
1. The case originated in an application (No. 2220/05) 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 four Russian nationals, listed below ("the applicants"), on 30 December 2004.

2. The applicants were represented by lawyers of the Stichting Russian Justice Initiative ("SRJI"), an NGO registered in the Netherlands with a representative office in Moscow. The Russian Government ("the Government") were represented by Ms V. Milinchuk, former Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.

3. On 13 September 2007 the Court decided to apply Rule 41 of the Rules of Court and to grant priority treatment to the application, as well as 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.

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 applicants are:

1) Ms Shumist Vakayeva, born in 1953;

2) Ms Rovzat Tatayeva, born in 1956;

3) Ms Marina Otsayeva, born in 1980; and
4) Mr Daud Abdurazakov, born in 1951.

6. The first, second and third applicants live in the village of Duba-Yurt, the Shali District, in the Chechen Republic; the fourth applicant lives in the village of Chiri-Yurt, the Shashnskiy District, in the Chechen Republic.

7. The first applicant is married to Mr Shamsudi Vakayev, born in 1949; they are the parents of Mr Shamil Vakayev, born in 1976, and Mr Shamkhan Vakayev, born in 1975. The second applicant is the mother of Mr Salambek Tatayev, born in 1976. The third applicant is married to Mr Ramzan Dudayev, born in 1969. The fourth applicant is the father of Mr Yunus Abdurazakov, born in 1979.

A. Disappearance of five inhabitants of Duba-Yurt
1. The applicants' account
(a) Abduction of the five men
8. On 15 March 2001 Salambek Tatayev, Ramzan Dudayev, Yunus Abdurazakov, Shamil Vakayev and Shamkhan Vakayev were at the Vakayevs' house. Shamkhan Vakayev and his wife, Ms D., were in an upstairs bedroom; the other four men were downstairs.

9. At about 12.45 p.m. on 15 March 2001 two armoured personnel carriers ("APCs"), a Ural vehicle and a UAZ all-terrain vehicle arrived at the Vakayevs' house; their registration numbers were not clearly visible. Around thirty armed men wearing camouflage uniforms got out of the vehicles. The men were unmasked. They had Slavic features and spoke Russian with no accent.

10. The armed men opened fire and wounded Shamil Vakayev and Ms Ch., the Vakayevs' neighbour. The armed men gave an injection to the wounded Shamil Vakayev.

11. At some point one of the armed men was also wounded.

12. The third applicant was in her house nearby the Vakayevs' house. Having heard gunshots, she rushed outside to find out what was happening and saw the Ural vehicle and the APCs. The third applicant was frightened and went back inside her house.

13. The armed men beat up Salambek Tatayev, Ramzan Dudayev, Yunus Abdurazakov and Shamil Vakayev. Ramzan Dudayev started bleeding. The armed men also beat up Mr Kh., the Vakayevs' neighbour, who happened to be in their courtyard.

14. Meanwhile some of the armed men captured Shamkhan Vakayev in the upstairs bedroom in Ms D.'s presence. Then they took the five men outside. They put Shamil Vakayev in a UAZ vehicle and the four other men in one of the APCs. The vehicles drove away in the direction of the village of Dachu-Borzoy where the military base of the 34th brigade of the internal troops was located. Later someone saw a helicopter leaving the military base; for reasons which are not clear, the applicants concluded that the helicopter had transported their relatives to the Khankala military base.

(b) Media coverage of the abduction of the five men
15. On 19 March 2001 a spokesman for the Federal Security Service ("FSB") stated on the local television channel that five persons had been arrested in the village of Duba-Yurt and named the applicants' missing relatives.

16. On 14 May 2001 RTR television, a State-owned channel, aired a programme produced by Mr S., which contained a video recording of the abduction of the five applicants' relatives.

17. The applicants obtained a one-minute extract of Mr S.'s programme, which shows the journalist commenting on a special operation carried out by the FSB servicemen to detain an insurgent commander named Vakayev.

2. The Government's account
18. At about 1 p.m. on 15 March 2001 unidentified men in camouflage uniforms kidnapped Yunus Abdurazakov, Ramzan Dudayev, Salambek Tatayev, Shamil Vakayev and Shamkhan Vakayev from the house at 175 Sheripov Street, in the village of Duba-Yurt.

19. Mr Kh. was not in the vicinity of the Vakayevs' house on the afternoon of 15 March 2001 as he was attending a funeral in another part of the village.

B. Investigation of the disappearance of the five men
1. The applicants' account
20. The applicants repeatedly complained about their relatives' disappearance to the local administration, the FSB, the Russian State Duma and the police. The applicants also visited several military bases to inquire about their relatives' whereabouts.

21. On 15 May 2001 the applicants complained about the abduction of their five relatives to prosecutors' offices at different levels.

22. On 18 May 2001 the military prosecutor's office of military unit No. 20116 forwarded the applicants' complaints about their relatives' disappearance to the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic pursuant to the subject-matter jurisdiction rules, arguing that no implication of military personnel in the incident had been established.

23. On 19 June 2001 the prosecutor's office of the Shali District ("the district prosecutor's office") instituted an investigation into the abduction of the five inhabitants of Duba-Yurt under Article 126 § 2 of the Russian Criminal Code (aggravated kidnapping). The case file was assigned the number 23116.

24. On 15 October 2001 the district prosecutor's office replied to the applicants' letter of 15 May 2001, stating that the investigation into their relatives' kidnapping by unidentified men armed with machine-guns was under way.

25. On 26 November 2001 the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic forwarded the first applicant's complaint concerning the kidnapping of her sons to the district prosecutor's office.

26. On 15 December 2001 the district prosecutor's office informed the first applicant that the investigation in case No. 23116 had been suspended for failure to identify those responsible and that investigative measures were being taken to solve the crime.

27. On 26 December 2001 the Department of the FSB of the Chechen Republic informed the first applicant that they had not carried out any special operations in Duba-Yurt between 14 and 17 March 2001. They stated that the video recording of the abduction of the applicants' relatives allegedly broadcast on national and local television could not have been subtitled "filmed by the Russian FSB".

28. On an unspecified date in March 2002 the commander of the North-Caucasus Group of the Internal Troops of the Russian Ministry of the Interior ("the NCG troops") informed the military prosecutor's office of military unit No. 20102 that on 15 March 2001 special operations had been carried out in the village of Duba-Yurt but the NCG troops had not apprehended Yunus Abdurazakov.

29. On an unspecified date the first applicant complained about the suspension of the investigation into her sons' kidnapping to the South Federal Circuit Department of the Prosecutor General's Office. On 25 April 2002 they replied that the complaint had been forwarded to the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic.

30. On 27 May 2002 the Department of the FSB of the Chechen Republic informed the first applicant that her complaint had been forwarded to the military prosecutor's office of military unit No. 20102 and that the FSB servicemen had not apprehended those mentioned in the complaint.

31. On 1 July 2002 the investigation in case No. 23116 was resumed.

32. On 6 July 2002 the military prosecutor's office of military unit No. 20116 forwarded the first applicant's complaint to the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic. They noted the following:

"The arrest and kidnapping of those [missing] persons were most probably carried out by the servicemen of the Alpha unit of the Russian FSB rather than military intelligence, because as early as on 19 March 2001 the central television broadcast a report on this arrest by Mr [S.], which was commented on by the head of the Russian FSB press service Mr [Z.]. A videotape of that report is being kept in the file in criminal case No. 4-23116, which is being investigated by the prosecutor's office of the Shali District."
33. On 27 July 2002 the district prosecutor's office informed the applicants that their complaint concerning the alleged implication of the FSB officers in their relatives' kidnapping had been included in the case file and that the investigation had been resumed on 1 July 2002.

34. On 31 July 2002 the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic informed the applicants that the investigation into their relatives' kidnapping in case No. 23116 had been opened by the district prosecutor's office.

35. On 1 August 2002 the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic forwarded the applicants' complaint to the district prosecutor's office. They also informed the first applicant that they had repeatedly examined the case materials and that the investigation was pending.

36. On 9 August 2002 the district prosecutor's office informed the first applicant that on 6 August 2002 they had forwarded the investigation file in case No. 23116 to the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic for further transfer to the military prosecutor's office of military unit No. 20116.

37. On 14 August 2002 the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic informed the first applicant that the term of the investigation had been extended until 1 November 2002 and that the case would probably be transferred to the military prosecutor's office at a later date.

38. On 6 September 2002 the district prosecutor's office informed the first applicant that she had been granted victim status in case No. 23116.

39. On 13 September 2002 the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic transferred case No. 23116 to the military prosecutor's office of military unit No. 20102; in a cover letter they noted that the implication of military personnel in the kidnapping had been established.

40. On 7 October 2002 the military prosecutor's office of the North-Caucasus Circuit returned case No. 23116 to the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic, arguing that the investigation had been incomplete and that military personnel implication had not been proven.

41. On 13 October 2002 the district prosecutor's office took up the case.

42. On 10 March 2003 district prosecutor's office suspended the investigation.

43. On an unspecified date the investigation was resumed.

44. On 17 April 2003 the department of the interior of the Shali District informed the first applicant that operational and search measures were being taken to establish her sons' whereabouts.

45. On 29 July 2003 the investigation was again suspended.

46. On 16 October 2003 the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic informed the first applicant that numerous law-enforcement agencies had denied any implication in her sons' abduction and that the proceedings had been suspended for failure to identify the perpetrators.

47. On 1 December 2003 the first applicant requested the district prosecutor's office to resume the investigation.

48. On 11 December 2003 the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic informed the first applicant that, despite the suspension of the investigation in case No. 23116, the requisite measures were being taken to solve the crime. On 30 December 2003 they sent a similar letter to the fourth applicant.

49. On 23 March 2004 the district prosecutor's office granted the first applicant victim status.

50. On 1 April 2004 the investigation into the kidnapping of the applicants' relatives was again suspended.

51. On 16 November 2004 the SRJI, acting on the applicants' behalf, requested the district prosecutor's office to update them on the progress of the investigation. On 20 December 2004 the district prosecutor's office replied that the investigation was under way.

52. On 27 March 2006 the decision of 1 April 2004 was quashed and the investigation in case No. 23116 was resumed.

53. On 30 March 2006 the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic informed the fourth applicant that the investigation had been resumed and was pending before the district prosecutor's office under their supervision.

54. On 16 July 2006 the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic informed the fourth applicant that the investigation into the kidnapping of Yunus Abdurazakov and other men "by unidentified men in camouflage uniforms and masks" travelling in "two APCs and a UAZ vehicle without identification marks or registration plates" had been suspended on 27 April 2006 for failure to identify those responsible.

55. On 20 July 2006 the prosecutor's office of the Chechen Republic informed