Published: 1 Dec 2007

EHRAC Bulletin Winter 2007

EHRAC Bulletin

Issue 8 of the EHRAC Bulletin is now available online. Please click the link below to read the full issue.

On 20 December 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which was opened for signature on 6 February 2007 (but is not yet in force). This is the first universal binding human rights instrument to set out an absolute prohibition on enforced disappearances. It includes an obligation on states to examine allegations of disappearances promptly and impartially, and, where necessary, “to undertake without delay a thorough and impartial investigation”.

In this edition, Ole Solvang and Roemer Lemaître of the Stichting Russian Justice Initiative discuss the European Court’s case law on enforced disappearances from Chechnya, in the light of the Court’s previous decisions on disappearances concerning southeast Turkey. We also report on the recent ‘disappearance’ judgments in Alikhadzhiyeva and Magomadov and Magomadov.

The Court in Alikhadzhiyeva found, as a consequence of the ‘disappearance’ of the applicant’s son, Ruslan Alikhadzhiyev, in May 2000, that it had been established beyond reasonable doubt that he must be presumed dead following his unacknowledged detention by State servicemen. In spite of these findings, the family are left not knowing whether or not Ruslan was killed, and, if so, when, or by whom. Regrettably, in such circumstances, the European Court declined to order the state to carry out an effective investigation, preferring instead to award compensation.

Also in this edition, we cover a wide variety of other subjects. Maria Voskobitova considers the extent to which the Russian criminal justice system complies with human rights standards, and Anton Burkov discusses the status of the European Convention on Human Rights in domestic law. Nadezhda Kutepova analyses the human rights issues arising in Russia’s closed cities, and Roman Maranov discusses restrictions on the freedom to worship in Russia. Sophio Japaridze questions the motives behind the Russian collective expulsions of Georgians in Autumn 2006.