Published: 31 Jul 2012

Umarovy v Russia and Shafiyeva v Russia

Case Summary

Cases No. 25654/08 and 49379/09
Judgments dates: 3 May 2012 and 31 July 2012 

The applicants in Umarovy were the sister and father of Mr Umarov who, along with two other men, was arrested following a search of his flat. The two other men were taken away for questioning and charged with illegal possession of firearms, but Mr Umarov was taken away in a separate vehicle. His whereabouts remain unknown. The applicants alleged that the authorities were responsible for his death. The Government argued that Mr Umarov was a member of a radical religious movement, and that they had not received any reliable information concerning his arrest. They suggested that he could be in hiding.

In Shafiyeva, the applicant alleged that her husband had been kidnapped whilst on his way back from dropping off his children at kindergarten. His car was allegedly blocked by two vehicles without official registration numbers, from which a group of masked men in camouflage uniforms emerged, hit him on the head with a bludgeon, and took him away in his own car. The abduction was witnessed by several local residents, one of whom managed to photograph the incident. Mr Shafiyev’s whereabouts also remain unknown. The Government argued that State involvement had not been proved, and that the disappearance had most likely been staged.

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