Enforced Disappearance Legal Database

Imakayeva v. Russia

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Burden of Proof | Evidence | Systemic Practice

The Court noted that, in the context of the conflict between Russia and Chechnya that occurred between 1999 - 2006, there existed a phenomenon of disappearances. It found that it could be presumed that, during this time period, when a person was detained by unidentified servicemen in Chechnya without subsequent acknowledgement of the detention, their detention could be regarded as life-threatening. It also applied the principle of the reversal of the burden of proof and found that it could draw inferences from the Government's failure to disclose pertinent information and failure to provide any plausible alternative explanation of what happened to the victims to establish to the requisite standard of proof that the victims were last seen in the authorities' control.

Judgment Date

November 9, 2006

Country

Russia

Judicial Body

European Court of Human Rights

Articles violated

Article 2 (substantive) [ECHR], Article 3 [ECHR], Article 5 [ECHR], Article 8 [ECHR], Article 13 [ECHR], Article 38 [ECHR]

Articles not violated / not dealt with

Article 6 [ECHR], Article 34 [ECHR]

Facts of the Case

In the morning of 17 December 2000, Mr. Said-Khuseyn Imakayev drove to the village market. On that same day, the applicant was told by neighbours that her son had been detained by Russian servicemen at a roadblock. Two women testified that they had seen him thrown into a military UAZ by a group of military men wearing masks. In the morning of 2 June 2006, 20 servicemen in military camouflage uniforms came into the house, some of them wearing masks. They had driven to the premises in six armoured personnel carriers and one UAZ. Mr. Said-Magomed Imakayev, the applicant's husband, was held against the wall of their house during the search and later forced into the UAZ vehicle. There has been no news of either victim since the dates of their abductions.

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