Ibragimov and Others v. Russia


Legal Relevance

Keywords: State/Non-State Agents | Effective Remedy | Duty to Investigate | Reparations | Burden of Proof | Deprivation of Liberty | Evidence | Systemic Practice | Relatives as Victims | Right to Know the Truth

Themes: Characteristics of the Crime | Related Crimes

The Court was satisfied that the victim was apprehended by State servicemen during an unacknowledged security operation. Taking into account the absence of any news of the victim for several years, and reiterating that in conflict situations when a person is detained by unidentified servicemen without any acknowledgment this can be regarded as life-threatening, it also held that the victim must be presumed dead following his unacknowledged detention and that his death can be attributed to the State. The Court also found that the authorities failed to carry out an effective criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the victim's disappearance. The Court made a finding of inhuman and degrading treatment with respect to the victim's family, in light of the fact that they suffered distress and anguish as a result of his disappearance and their inability to find out what happened to him. It concluded that the victim was held in unacknowledged detention in violation of the right to liberty and security, drawing on the fact that his detention was not logged in any custody records and that there exists no official trace of his subsequent whereabouts or fate.

Judgment Date

December 1, 2008

Country

Russia

Judicial Body

European Court of Human Rights

Articles violated

Article 2 (procedural) [ECHR], Article 2 (substantive) [ECHR], Article 3 [ECHR], Article 5 [ECHR], Article 13 [ECHR]

Articles not violated / not dealt with

Article 8 [ECHR]

Facts of the Case

Mr. Rizvan Ibragimov was apprehended in December 2002 by a group of men (allegedly military or security servicemen) wearing masks and camouflage uniforms who forcibly entered his house without producing identity papers. The servicemen took Mr. Ibragimov's identity papers and brought him to the courtyard, where other armed men in camouflage uniforms were waiting. According to some witnesses, Mr. Ibragimov was then driven away in military vehicles. Mr. Ibragimov's family has been searching for him since then, applying to various official bodies to find out his whereabouts and his fate. A criminal investigation into the abduction of Mr. Ibragimov was opened and then suspended several times.

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