Published: 4 Apr 2019

EHRAC Spring 2019 Bulletin

EHRAC Bulletin

We have had a busy and exciting start to 2019 which we are delighted to be able to share with you in our new online Bulletin and Blog, launched today. Over the last three months, we have lodged submissions in 9 cases before the European Court of Human Rights and the UN CEDAW Committee, representing 36 applicants across Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. From domestic violence to torture in detention, reprisals against human rights defenders to abuses in conflict zones, read about our ground-breaking litigation below.

We have also been pushing for the implementation of our cases, lodging a submission to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Merabishvili v Georgia (politically-motivated detention of the former Georgian Prime Minister), and working with the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to achieve resolution in our Chechen cases. In other news, Prof. Philip Leach, EHRAC’s Director, recently spoke about the safety of journalists at an event at Parliament and has just returned from an expert meeting in Geneva advising on a new set of guidelines for investigating of violations of International Humanitarian Law during armed conflict, with the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

We’d like to thank, as always, those who support and work with us, including by contributing to our Blog and case summaries. We hope that you find this Bulletin an interesting read and a valuable resource.

EHRAC case news

Over the last three months, we have addressed egregious violations of human rights including; the failure to investigate civilian fatalities during the aerial bombardment of Katyr-Yurt, Chechnya (Abuyeva 2 v Russia); torture in detention (Kodzoyev v Russia); domestic violence in which the perpetrator was a law enforcement official (Toradze v Georgia); domestic violence culminating in femicide (Bela Dzamashvili v Georgia); the failure to grant legal gender recognition to pre-operative trans men (A.D and A.K. v Georgia); the freezing of the bank accounts of an NGO and its founder (Intigam Aliyev and the Legal Education Society v Azerbaijan); the capture, unlawful detention, ill-treatment and forced labour of 25 Ukrainian volunteer combatants by the Russian military and ‘DPR’ separatists in eastern Ukraine (Ponomarenko and others v Ukraine and Russia); and the abduction, unlawful detention, and ill-treatment of four civilians in eastern Ukraine by ‘DPR’ separatists (Potyekhin v Ukraine and Russia; and Yurov, Oprya and Gryshchuk v Ukraine and Russia).

EHRAC Blog

In this edition, we are launching our new Blog, a forum for lawyers, academics and practitioners to write on topical issues relevant to human rights in Russia, Ukraine and the South Caucasus. Get in touch if you would like to contribute.

Resources

Training packages for human rights defenders and litigators

EHRAC has launched a series of online training resources, designed to be used by lawyers and NGOs. For each topic, you can download a short guide to best practice and case-law, along with audio and video recordings.

Case summaries: Recent European Court judgments

EHRAC judgments

  • Intigam Aliyev v Azerbaijan The Court called on Azerbaijan to end the systemic persecution of government critics and civil society with regards to the unlawful detention of a renowned human rights lawyer. (EHRAC)
  • Denisov v Ukraine [Grand Chamber] Dismissal of the President of a Ukrainian Court, in which the Grand Chamber set out a ‘threshold of seriousness’ for finding a violation of the right to respect for private life. (EHRAC)

Regional judgments

  • Dzhioyeva & others v Georgia The alleged endangering of the lives and destruction of property of six Russian nationals living in Tskhinvali region of South Ossetia by the Georgian armed forces during the August 2008 conflict.
  • Haziyev v Azerbaijan Unlawful arrest and detention of an independent journalist after reporting to the police an unprovoked attack by a stranger.
  • Khadija Ismayilova v Azerbaijan Unlawful invasion of privacy aimed at intimidating an award-winning investigative journalist, supported by interventions from 14 NGOs and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.
  • Mushegh Saghatelyan v Armenia Arrest, detention and ill-treatment of an opposition politician after the violent dispersal of post-election protests on 1 March 2008 in Armenia, which left 10 people dead.