Постановление Европейского суда по правам человека от 15.07.2010 «Дело Гелаевы (gelayevy) против России» [англ.]

Город принятия

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
FIRST SECTION
CASE OF GELAYEVY v. RUSSIA
(Application No. 20216/07)
JUDGMENT*
(Strasbourg, 15.VII.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 Gelayevy v. Russia,

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

Christos Rozakis, President,

Anatoly Kovler,

Elisabeth Steiner,

Dean Spielmann,

Sverre Erik Jebens,

Giorgio Malinverni,

George Nicolaou, judges,

and {Soren}*Nielsen, Section Registrar,

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

Having deliberated in private on 24 June 2010,

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

PROCEDURE
1. The case originated in an application (No. 20216/07) 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 six Russian nationals listed below ("the applicants"), on 24 April 2007.

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, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.

3. On 5 June 2009 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 § 1 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) Mr Vakhit Gelayev, born in 1949,

(2) Ms Amint (also spelled as Aminat) Gelayeva, born in 1952,

(3) Ms Zarema Gelayeva, born in 1983,

(4) Ms Pakanat Gelayeva, born in 1928,

(5) Mr Shakhit Gelayev, born in 1925 and
(6) Mr Akhmat Gelayev, born in 1951.

6. The applicants live in Gikalo, Chechnya. The first and second applicants are the parents of Murad Gelayev (also known as Murat or Edik Gelayev), who was born in 1976. The third applicant is his sister, the fourth applicant is his grandmother, the fifth applicant is his grandfather and the sixth applicant is his uncle.

7. The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

A. Abduction of Murad Gelayev and subsequent events
1. The applicants' account
(a) Events in Gikalo on 27 February 2000
8. At the material time the settlement of Gikalo in the Grozny district of Chechnya was under the full control of the Russian federal forces; checkpoints of the Russian military were located on the roads leading to and from the village. On 26 - 27 February 2000 the Russian federal forces conducted a special operation in the village. The operation was carried out with APCs (armoured personnel carriers) and Ural vehicles.

9. In the morning of 27 February 2000 Murad Gelayev and the second and third applicants were at home at 20, Mira Street, Gikalo. The fourth applicant lived nearby.

10. At about 7 a.m. the second applicant heard some noise and looked out of the window. She saw armed military servicemen jumping over the fence. Some of the men were wearing masks. When the second applicant went outside, one of the men ordered her to stand up against the wall and pointed his machine gun at her.

11. Then a large group of the servicemen broke into the house. The second applicant went back inside. There she saw her son, Murad, and her daughter, the third applicant, standing against the wall. The intruders, who were of Slavic appearance and spoke unaccented Russian, demanded that the second applicant give them her son's passport; while she was looking for it, they kept hitting her in the back with rifle-butts and saying: "Hurry up, search faster". After the second applicant found the passport and handed it over to the men, one of them took it outside, to an APC which was parked next to the house. Shortly after that the man brought Murad Gelayev's passport back. The second applicant attempted to put clothing on Murad, but the servicemen started beating her, Murad Gelayev and his sister with rifle-butts.

12. After that the servicemen dragged Murad Gelayev outside. The second and third applicants asked the servicemen to release Murad saying that his identity documents had already been checked by them. The servicemen told the applicants that they would release him after a check; the applicants kept begging the men to release their relative and the servicemen beat them with rifle-butts. Then the third applicant ran to the neighbours screaming for help and the second applicant kept following the servicemen. One of them pressed his machine gun against her chest and ordered her to get out of the way.

13. Meanwhile the fourth applicant, who had been told by her neighbours that the servicemen were raiding her son's house, arrived at the yard and joined the second applicant in attempts to prevent the abduction of Murad Gelayev. A crowd of neighbours started gathering and the servicemen began shooting above the crowd's heads to disperse it. Continuing the beating of the second and fourth applicants in front of the neighbours, the servicemen put Murad Gelayev in a Ural vehicle which was parked next to the house; its registration numbers were covered with mud. A dog, which had arrived with the servicemen, jumped after Murad Gelayev into the body of the vehicle and sat next to him.

14. When the second applicant attempted to get into the Ural, one of the servicemen pushed her over and she fell to the ground and lost consciousness. As a result of the fall, the second applicant was hospitalised on the same day and stayed in the Gikalo hospital from 27 February to 17 March 2000; she was diagnosed with brain concussion and chest contusion. The fourth applicant was beaten with rifle-butts, dragged aside by two soldiers and shoved into a gap between a wall and a block of concrete.

15. According to a resident of Gikalo, Mr Sh.Ts., at around 7.20 a.m. on 27 February 2000 he was at home when an APC pulled over next to his house. About ten armed military servicemen, some of them in masks, rushed into his yard. They put him and his brother, Mr V.Ts., against the wall and ordered their female relatives to bring over their passports. After the documents were brought over, one of the men read out the passport information to someone via a portable radio set; a few minutes later Mr Sh.Ts. was told that the passports were in order. After that the witness and his brother were taken in the APC to the village centre and transferred into an "Avtozak" vehicle (GAZ-53 lorry equipped for transportation of detainees). The Avtozak took the two brothers and a number of other male residents of Gikalo to the Oktyabrskiy district military commander's office in Grozny.

16. According to another resident of Gikalo, Ms Z.S., on the morning of 27 February 2000 she was woken up by the noise of vehicles and dogs' barking. She went outside and saw a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms. They spoke unaccented Russian and were searching the courtyard. Then the men took her brothers, Mr Sul.S. and Mr Sup.S., outside, searched them and put them in a large military vehicle. The servicemen told her that they would take her brothers for an identity check. After that they took the two brothers to the Oktyabrskiy temporary district department of the interior (the Oktyabrskiy VOVD).

17. According to another resident of Gikalo, Mr V.Ts., at about 7.20 a.m. on 27 February 2000 he arrived at his brother's house. There he saw a military vehicle with about fifteen armed servicemen in camouflage uniforms on it; some of them were wearing masks. The servicemen had specially trained German shepherd dogs with them. The majority of these men were of Slavic appearance, but two of them looked Asian. The servicemen checked the passports; after that one of them spoke with someone via a portable radio set. After that the witness and his brother were taken by the military vehicle to the village centre. There they were transferred to an Avtozak vehicle in which the witness found a number of his fellow villagers, including Murad Gelayev. From there the detainees were taken to the Khankala for one night and then to the Oktyabrskiy district military commander's office.

18. According to the applicants, as a result of the special operation fourteen residents of Gikalo were detained, and at some point all of them, except for Murad Gelayev and Mr Sul. S., returned home.

(b) Ill-treatment of Murad Gelayev following the abduction
19. Some time later one of Ms Z.S.'s. brothers, Mr Sup.S., returned home and told her that after the sweeping-up operation on 27 February 2000 they had been taken to the Oktyabrskiy VOVD. From there the group of detainees from Gikalo had been taken to Chernokozovo detention centre, and only Murad Gelayev and Mr Sul.S. had remained in the Oktyabrskiy VOVD. According to Mr Sup.S., Murad Gelayev and Mr Sul.S. had been subjected to torture by the investigators in the VOVD; during an interrogation one of the officers had cut off an ear from each of them.

20. According to Mr V.Ts., after being detained he and his fellow villagers from Gikalo, including Murad Gelayev, were taken in the Avtozak vehicle to Grozny. At about 9 a.m. on 27 February 2000 the men were taken to a building with a basement. There the witness and his fellow villagers were subjected to continued beatings by their abductors, who used shovels and iron pipes. At some point he fainted; he regained consciousness when two military servicemen were dragging him into a basement. In the basement he and all the other detainees from Gikalo, including Murad Gelayev, were stripped naked and subjected to another round of beatings with iron pipes and steel rods, and dogs were set on them. After that the villagers were allowed to put their clothes back on and were taken to Khankala in a Ural vehicle. There the detainees spent the night in the vehicle, handcuffed to a bar and being beaten by military servicemen. In the morning the detainees were taken to the Oktyabrskiy military commander's office, but Murad Gelayev and another detainee were not there as they had probably stayed behind.

21. According to the sixth applicant, early in the morning of 27 February 2000 he was at home when a large group of military servicemen in masks and camouflage uniforms rushed into his yard. The servicemen dispersed throughout the applicant's household and searched his house, barn and shed. The servicemen forced the applicant into an APC and took him to the outskirts of Gikalo, where he was transferred to an Avtozak vehicle. In the Avtozak the sixth applicant saw thirteen other men from the village, including his nephew Murad Gelayev. The vehicle took the detainees to the Oktyabrskiy VOVD, where the men were forced to stand against the wall and were subjected to beatings by shovels, bludgeons and steel rods. At about 12 p.m. a senior officer arrived at the site and personally kicked each detainee between the legs. After a short break a serviceman with a dog arrived and set the dog on the detainees. Then the detainees were ordered to run to the basement. In the basement they were ordered to take off their clothes; meanwhile Murad Gelayev and Mr Sul.S. were seated at a table and questioned. The applicant heard one of the guards ordering Murad Gelayev to put his hands on the table and hitting Murad's fingers with a truncheon. Next the officer asked the other servicemen if they had a knife. He could not find one in the basement and went outside. Having found a knife, which looked like that of a hunter, he cut off Murad Gelayev's ear, wrapped it in a bandage and put it in his pocket saying: "It's a souvenir for me". After that he cut Mr Sul.S.'s ear off and gave it to another officer saying: "And here is a souvenir for you". The latter also put it in his pocket. According to the applicant, after continued beatings he and other detainees were taken to Khankala whereas Murad Gelayev and Mr Sul.S. remained in the Oktyabrskiy VOVD.

22. The applicants further submitted that at the beginning of May 2000, Mr R.Ya., the head of the criminal search division of the Oktyabrskiy VOVD, had suggested to their fellow villager, Mr Sh.Kha., that he could show him Murad Gelayev who was detained in the building of the VOVD. In addition, around 25 June 2000, a woman who lived in the Lutch neighbourhood in the Oktyabrskiy district of Grozny had visited the Chernokozovo detention centre and had seen two young men being brought there in APCs. One of these men had been Murad Gelayev.

23. At the material time the Oktyabrskiy VOVD was staffed by officers from the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region of Russia. From the documents submitted it follows that the Oktyabrskiy VOVD and the district military commander's office were located either in the same building or around the same yard.

24. In support of their statements, the applicants submitted the following documents: a statement by the second applicant (the date is illegible); a statement by the third applicant dated 23 August 2006; a statement by the sixth applicant (undated); a statement by the fourth applicant (undated); a statement by Mr Sh.Ts. dated 21 September 2006; a statement by Ms Z.S. dated 23 August 2006; a statement by Mr V.Ts. dated 14 August 2006; a statement by Mr U.V. dated 14 August 2006; a copy of the medical certificate issued by the Grozny district hospital confirming the second applicant's hospitalisation from 27 February to 17 March 2000 in the Gikalo hospital dated 14 August 2006, and copies of documents received from the authorities.

2. Information submitted by the Government
25. The Government did not dispute the facts as presented by the applicants. At the same time they stated that no special operation had been carried out in Gikalo on 27 February 2000 and that the federal forces had not been involved in the abduction of the applicants' relative.

B. The search for Murad Gelayev
and the official investigation
1. The applicants' account
26. According to the applicants, they complained about Murad Gelayev's abduction