Application no. 56615/00
by Sasita Khasmagomedovna KHASUYEVA
The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 25 October 2005 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr C.L. Rozakis, President,
Mr L. Loucaides,
Mr P. Lorenzen,
Mrs N. Vajić,
Mrs S. Botoucharova,
Mr K. Hajiyev,
Mr A. Kovler, judges,
and Mr S. Quesada, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 5 April 2000,
Having regard to the decision to grant priority to the above application under Rule 41 of the Rules of Court,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Sasita Khasmagomedovna Khasuyeva, is a Russian national, who was born in 1955 and was a resident of Shali, Chechnya. She is currently residing outside Russia. She is represented before the Court by Ms Gareth Peirce, a lawyer practising in London. The respondent Government are represented by Mr Pavel Laptev, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.
A. The circumstances of the case
The facts of the case as submitted by the parties may be summarised as follows.
The applicant worked as a nurse in a military hospital in Grozny. In September 1999 hostilities started in Chechnya and Grozny was subjected to attacks by the Russian armed forces. In February 2000 the hospital evacuated from Grozny.
In the morning of 2 February 2000 the hospital came to the village of Tolstoy-Yurt, where the Russian army stopped the convoy. The patients and the medical personnel were detained and placed in a pit in the ground. There was nothing in the pit to lie or to sit on. The applicant and other detainees were ill-treated and abused.
On 9 February 2000 the applicant was transferred to the Chernokozovo detention centre. The conditions of detention were extremely poor and the inmates were allegedly regularly subjected to ill-treatment. The applicant was released from Chernokozovo on an unspecified date. Upon release she was issued an undated certificate signed and stamped by the head of the Naurskiy District Temporary Department of the Interior, stating that the applicant “has been detained in the Chernokozovo detention centre for the purpose of establishing identity”.
On 19 February 2000 the applicant left Russia and sought asylum abroad. She never contacted any Russian authority in relation to her detention and alleged ill-treatment, fearing for her life and safety and for the safety of her family members.
The applicant also submitted that in April 2000 her son Aslan Gumakov had been arrested in his home in Shali and taken to the local police station. There he was asked questions about the applicant’s whereabouts and beaten. He was released three days later without any formal charges. The applicant’s son and his family also sought asylum outside Russia. She submitted that it had further reinforced her fear and distrust of the Russian authorities and proved that any attempts to seek domestic remedies would be futile. The applicant did not submit any documents related to this episode.
In July 2000 the applicant spent a week in a hospital in Baku, Azerbaijan. The doctors diagnosed her with post-traumatic chronic otitis, chronic gynaecological and gall-bladder problems. The doctors noted complaints of abuse and beatings in the Chernokozovo detention centre in February 2000.
The applicant submitted a number of NGO and media reports referring to the situation in the Tolstoy-Yurt and Chernokozovo detention centres at the material time. In particular, she invoked the Human Rights Watch Report of October 2000 “Welcome To Hell: Arbitrary Detention, Torture and Extortion in Chechnya”, based on interviews with former inmates.
B. Events after September 2004
On 2 September 2004 the Registrar sent a letter to the applicant’s representatives, informing them that the Court had decided to give notice of her application to the Russian Government.
On 17 January 2005 the Government submitted their written observations on the admissibility and merits of the application. On 21 January 2005 the applicant was invited to file her pleadings in reply by 25 March 2005. She did not reply.
On 30 May 2005 the Registry sent, by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt, a letter to the address of the applicant’s representative. They were warned that if they failed to respond to that letter, the Court might conclude that the applicant no longer intended to pursue her application. No response arrived to that letter, and on 5 September 2005 the Registry again sent the same letter to the applicant’s representatives, requesting a reply by 19 September 2005. No reply was received to that letter.
The applicant has not to date resumed her correspondence with the Court, either directly or through her legal representative. The applicant’s last communication to the Court is of 17 December 2001. She only indicated her representative’s address for correspondence.
1. The applicant complained under Article 2 of the Convention that her right to life was not protected, and she was at risk of death and fatal injury.
2. The applicant complained under Article 3 of the Convention that she was subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment while in detention.
3. Invoking Article 5 of the Convention, the applicant complained that her right to liberty and security of person has been violated by the arbitrary detention, without any of the guarantees provided by Article 5.
4. The applicant complained under Article 8 of the Convention that her family and private life has been violated. The applicant maintains that the destruction of communal infrastructures during the military operations made impossible her and her family’s normal family and private life.
5. The applicant complained under Article 13 that no effective remedy was available to her, since no legal structures operated in Chechnya.
6. The applicant complained under Article 14 that she was discriminated against because of her ethnic background as a Chechen and her residence in Chechnya.
7. The applicant complained under Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 that the right for freedom of movement inside the country and to travel abroad has been violated, since she could not freely choose her residence and had to leave Chechnya in fear for her life.
The Court recalls that, as described above, the applicant, through her representatives, failed to submit her observations in reply to the Government’s memorandum. She also failed to respond to two registered letters dated 30 May 2005 and 5 September 2005, warning of the possibility that the case might be struck out of the Court’s list. The last letter from her is dated 17 December 2001.
Having regard to Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention, the Court concludes that the applicant does not intend to pursue the application. Furthermore, in accordance with Article 37 § 1 in fine, the Court finds no special circumstances regarding respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which require the examination of this application to be continued. Accordingly, the application of Article 29 § 3 of the Convention should be discontinued.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Santiago Quesada Christos Rozakis
Deputy Registrar President
KHASUYEVA v. RUSSIA DECISION
KHASUYEVA v. RUSSIA DECISION