Mukhitdinov v. Russia

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Keywords: Systemic Practice | Duty to Investigate | Duty to Prosecute | Interim/Urgent Measures | Extraterritorial Jurisdiction | Refugees and Migrants | Reparations | Obligation to Prevent | Deprivation of Liberty

Themes: Related Crimes | Characteristics of the Crime | Persons and Groups Affected | Prevention

Reaffirming its position that individuals whose extradition was sought by the Uzbek authorities on charges of religiously or politically motivated crimes constituted a vulnerable group, the Court was satisfied that the enforcement of the extradition order and the victim's return to Uzbekistan exposed him to a real risk of ill-treatment. It was also satisfied that State authorities were aware before and after the applicants’ release that he faced a real risk of forcible transfer to the country where he could be subjected to ill-treatment, and found that these circumstances, coupled with the victim's background, would have required appropriate measures of protection which the State failed to take. The Court added that the victim's disappearance had to be seen against the background of many similar incidents that took place in the country, pointing to an established and consistent pattern of disappearances of individuals who were under the State protection. For this reason, and having regard to the fact that the victim was last seen in the custody of the authorities, the Court concluded that the State was responsible for his disappearance. In light of the fact that the victim's whereabouts were still unknown at the time of the decision, the Court maintained the previously indicated interim measures claiming that he was still liable to be extradited pursuant to the final judgments of the Russian courts.

Judgment Date

October 19, 2015

Country

Russia

Judicial Body

European Court of Human Rights

Articles violated

Article 3 [ECHR], Article 5(1) [ECHR], Article 5(4) [ECHR], Article 34 [ECHR]

Articles not violated / not dealt with

Article 13 [ECHR]

Facts of the Case

Mr. Lutpiddin Bakhritdinovich Mukhitdinov, a stateless person born in Uzbekistan, was arrested in Russia in June 2013 for his alleged participation in an Uzbek religious terrorist organisation. In December 2013 Russia approved his extradition to Uzbekistan. Mr. Mukhitdinov's detention was extended pending extradition until March 2014, when he was released. In March 2014, Mr. Mukhitdinov applied to the European Court of Human Rights. The latter issued interim measures requesting that he should not be extradited from Russia to Uzbekistan for the duration of the proceedings before the Court, and asking the Government to put in place an appropriate preventive and protective mechanism capable of ensuring effective protection against his unlawful or irregular removal. In July 2014 Mr. Mukhitdinov was taken away from his home by uniformed officers of the Federal Migration Service. His whereabouts are unknown since then. A few days after his abduction, Mr. Mukhitdinov's representative asked the authorities to stop his transfer to Uzbekistan, but was told that he had already been released. In August 2014 a criminal case into Mr. Mukhitdinov's disappearance was instituted.

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