Legal Case of the Week: Gaysanova v Russia

posted 16 May 2016, 09:14 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 16 May 2016, 09:15 ]
On 12 May 2016 the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the case of Gaysanova v Russia. As Caucasian Knot reported, the Court found Russia responsible for the kidnapping of Zarema Gaisanova, who was a staff member of the Danish Refugee Council at that time, and ordered Russia pay the applicant compensation of 60,000 euros to Lida Gaisanova, the mother of Zarema Gaisanova. The Court identified a violation of Article 2 of the Convention on account of Ms Zarema Gaisanova’s presumed death; a violation of Article 2 of the Convention on account of the State’s failure to comply with its positive obligation to protect Ms Zarema Gaisanova’s life; a violation of Article 2 of the Convention in respect of the failure to conduct an effective investigation into the circumstances in which Ms Zarema Gaisanova disappeared; a violation of Article 3 of the Convention in respect of the applicant; a violation of Article 5 of the Convention on account of Ms Zarema Gaisanova’s unlawful detention. The abduction of Zarema Gaisanova took place in the course of a special operation under command of Ramzan Kadyrov. The interests of Lida Gaisanova were represented at the European Court of Human Rights by lawyers from the Memorial Human Rights Centre and the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre.

Caucasian Knot summarizes the events of the case as follows: 'The 40-year-old Zarema Gaisanova, who worked for the humanitarian organization "Danish Refugee Council", was abducted in the afternoon on October 31, 2009, in the Leninsky District of Grozny by several armed persons. On that day, power agents conducted a special operation in the vicinity of her residence. During the operation, the Gaisanovs' house was burned down; and Zarema Gaisanova was taken away to some unknown place; and her further fate is unknown. On March 2, 2010, Ramzan Kadyrov, had a meeting with Igor Kalyapin, the Chairman of the Committee against Torture (CAT), during which he said that the special operation on the day, when Zarema Gaisanova was abducted, was conducted under his command. Kalyapin then stated that there were reasons to believe that law enforcers were involved in Gaisanova's abduction.'

Following the announcement of the judgment by the European Court of Human Rights, Oleg Orlov, a board member of the Memorial Human Rights Centre, said that in addition to paying the compensation ordered by the Court, the Russian authorities should resume the investigation into the case: According to Caucasian Knot, Oleg Orlov said: 'Russia shall do two things. Firstly, it is to pay the compensation awarded to family members of the kidnapped woman. And secondly, Russia should resume the investigation into the case, investigate it, find the persons responsible for the crime, and punish them.'

'Gaysanova v Russia,' European Court of Human Rights, 12 May 2016
'ECtHR holds Russia responsible for abduction of Chechen woman,' Caucasian Knot, 12 May 2016
'Oleg Orlov: investigation into Zarema Gaisanova's kidnapping should be resumed,' Caucasian Knot, 13 May 2016