Week-ending 30 October 2020
There have been no new judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in relation to Russia this week.
However, there have been fresh developments in the case of Salman Tepsurkaev, from Chechnya, a moderator of the 1Adat Telegram channel. On 27 October 2020 the Investigative Committee refused to initiate a criminal investigation into the kidnapping and torture of Salman Tepsurkaev, the Committee Against Torture has reported.
On 11 September the Committee Against Torture had requested that the European Court of Human Rights apply interim measures to ensure the safety of Salman Tepsurkaev. On 22 October the Russian Ministry of Justice announced that the European Court of Human Rights had rejected the application by the Committee Against Torture. However, the Committee Against Torture has yet to receive the text of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights and does not know the reasons for this decision.
On 7 September 2020, according to a joint statement by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and eight other human rights organisations stated that ‘a video was circulated on social media depicting the torture of a 19-year-old man from Chechen, Salman Tepsurkaev. The young man was the moderator of the chat telegram-channel 1ADAT, which publishes critical information about developments in Chechnya. Later it became known that Tepsurkaev was abducted from a hotel in Gelendzhik (Russia’s Krasnodar region) and taken to Chechnya, where he was then stripped naked and forced, on camera, to penetrate himself with a glass bottle. Subsequently, Chechen government officials, and even the mufti of Chechnya, publicly endorsed the violence committed against Tepsurkaev. Meanwhile, Tepsurkaev’s whereabouts remain unknown.‘
On 11 September lawyers of the Committee Against Torture applied to the European Court of Human Rights regarding the violation of the rights of Salman Tepsurkaev under Articles 3 (prohibition on torture) and 5 (right to liberty and security) of the European Convention. The Committee Against Torture requested the application of Rule 39 (Interim Measures) and demanded that the Russian Federation take steps to discover the location of Salman Tepsurkaev and guarantee his release and safety.
On September 14, the European Court of Human Rights requested the Russian authorities to provide information whether Salman Tepsurkaev was kidnapped and tortured and whether an investigation was being carried out into the case.
On 26 September Human Rights Watch published a statement by nine Russian and international human rights organisations condemning the abduction and torture of Salman Tepsurkaev.
On 5 October 2020 Caucasian Knot reported that, in response to questions from the European Court of Human Rights, Mikhail Galperin, Representative of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights, had stated that Tepsurkaev had not been detained by law enforcement officers or subjected to ill-treatment.
According to a post on the website of the Russian Ministry of Justice on 22 October the European Court of Human Rights rejected the application by the Committee AGainst Torture. However, the lawyers of the Committee AGainst Torture have yet to receive the text of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights and therefore do not know the reasons for the decision.