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Europejskiego Trybunału Praw Człowieka
z dnia 24 września 2019 r.
44776/09

UZASADNIENIE

Wstęp

ECLI:CE:ECHR:2019:0924JUD004477609

THIRD SECTION

CASE OF GANATOVA AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA

(Applications nos. 44776/09 and 9 others - see list appended)

JUDGMENT

STRASBOURG

24 September 2019

This judgment is final but it may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Ganatova and Others,

The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting as a Committee composed of:

Georgios A. Serghides, President,

Branko Lubarda,

Erik Wennerström, judges,

and Stephen Phillips, Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 3 September 2019,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

Postępowanie

PROCEDURE

1. The case originated in five applications against Russia lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention") on the various dates indicated in the appended table.

2. The Russian Government ("the Government") were given notice of the applications.

3. The Government did not object to the examination of the applications by a Committee.

Uzasadnienie faktyczne

THE FACTS

I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE

4. The applicants are Russian nationals who, at the material time, lived in either Chechnya or Ingushetia. Their personal details are set out in the appended table. They are close relatives of individuals who disappeared after allegedly being unlawfully detained by service personnel during special operations. The events concerned took place in areas under the full control of the Russian federal forces. The applicants have not seen their missing relatives since the alleged arrests. Their whereabouts remain unknown.

5. The applicants or other persons reported the abductions to law–enforcement bodies, and official investigations were opened. The investigation were repeatedly suspended and resumed, and have been ongoing for several years without any tangible results being achieved. The applicants lodged requests for information and assistance in the search for their relatives with the investigating authorities and various law-enforcement bodies. Their requests received either only formalistic responses or none at all. The perpetrators have not been identified by the investigating bodies. It appears that all of the investigations are still ongoing.

6. Summaries of the facts in respect of each application are set out below. Each account is based on statements provided by the applicants and their relatives and/or neighbours to both the Court and the domestic investigating authorities. The Government did not dispute the principal facts of the cases as presented by the applicants, but questioned the involvement of service personnel in the events.

A. Ganatova v. Russia (no. 44776/09)

7. The applicant is the mother of Mr Isa Kukayev, who was born in 1979.

1. Conviction of Mr Isa Kukayev

8. On 2 April 2003 the Nazran Town Court of Ingushetia convicted Mr Isa Kukayev of illegal possession of a grenade, sentencing him to three years' imprisonment.

2. Abduction of Mr Isa Kukayev

9. At about 6 a.m. on 29 August 2003 two UAZ minivans and a VAZ 21099 car (all the vehicles had no registration plates) arrived at the house in Grozny which belonged to Mr A.K. and Ms L.S., who were hosting Mr Isa Kukayev at the time.

10. Several men in camouflage uniforms and balaclavas, armed with automatic weapons, left the vehicles and burst into the house. Having checked the identity documents of Mr A.K. and Mr Isa Kukayev, they took the latter to an unknown destination. During the operation several other armed men secured the surrounding area.

3. Subsequent events

11. On an unspecified date the applicant's family learned from unofficial sources that Mr Isa Kukayev had been detained on the premises of dairy farm no.15, where a military unit headed by Commander M. was stationed.

12. The applicant's relatives informally asked Commander M. about Mr Isa Kukayev's arrest, but he denied involvement of his unit in that operation.

13. On 8 April 2007 the applicant's family was contacted by Mr S. He stated that on 17 August 2003 he had been arrested by service personnel and then placed in a cell in the basement of the dairy farm. Several days later Mr Isa Kukayev had joined him. He had been arrested on suspicion of participation in bombing attacks. Two weeks later the service personnel had taken Mr Isa Kukayev out of the cell. He had never returned.

4. Official investigation into the abduction

14. On 29 August 2003 Mr A.K. informed the Zavodskoiy district prosecutor's office in Grozny ("the investigators") of Mr Isa Kukayev's abduction.

15. On 8 September 2003 the investigators opened criminal case no. 30157 under Article of 126 the Criminal Code ("the CC") (abduction).

16. On 16 September 2003 the investigators questioned Mr A.K. He described the details of the abduction. In particular, he mentioned that the abductors had used two white UAZ vehicles and a dark VAZ 21099 car.

17. On 29 October 2003 the applicant was questioned by the investigators. She submitted that she had learned about her son's abduction from relatives shortly after the incident.

18. Between September and November 2003 the investigators sent several requests to law-enforcement authorities to check if Mr Isa Kukayev had been arrested during a special operation. They replied that they had no information.

19. On 8 November 2003 the investigation was suspended for failure to establish the perpetrators. The investigation was resumed on 15 February 2004.

20. On 20 February 2004 the investigators examined the crime scene. No evidence was collected.

21. On 25 February 2004 the investigators questioned Mr A.K. again. He provided a more detailed description of the events of 29 August 2003, stating that several armed men had secured the surrounding area while others had taken Mr Isa Kukayev away.

22. On 20 February 2004 the investigators granted the applicant victim status in the criminal proceedings and questioned her. She confirmed her previous statement.

23. On 8 March 2004 the investigators questioned Ms L.S. Her account of the events was similar to those of Mr A.K.

24. The investigation was suspended on 15 March 2004 and then resumed on 26 December 2005.

25. On the same day the investigators questioned the applicant. Referring to information from Mr A.K.'s statement, she alleged that her son has been arrested by service personnel from a military unit stationed at dairy farm no. 15.

26. On 26 January 2006 the investigation was suspended. They were subsequently resumed on 14 March 2007.

27. On 10 April 2007 a member of Mr A.K.'s family informed the investigators about a visit by Mr S. (see paragraph 13 above).

28. On 20 April 2007 the investigators learned that the military unit which had been stationed at the dairy farm had been disbanded in 2006.

29. Subsequently the investigation was suspended on 27 April, 30 September and 1 December 2007 and 11 April 2008 and then resumed on 30 August and 29 October 2007, 7 March 2008, and 24 February 2011 respectively.

30. In the meantime, on 25 May 2010 the Zavodskoy District Court of Grozny declared Isa Kukayev a missing person following an application by the applicant.

5. Court proceedings against the investigators

31. According to the applicant, at some point she complained to the Zavodskoy District Court of Grozny about the investigators' inaction. The court dismissed her claim on an unspecified date in 2008.

B. Makhiyeva and Shoipova v. Russia (no. 5552/12)

32. The first and the second applicants are the mothers of Mr Rasmbek Saydulayev, who was born in 1984, and Mr Lom-Ali (also spelled as Lomali) Shoipov, who was born in 1982, respectively.

1. Abduction of Mr Rasmbek Saydulayev and Mr Lom-Ali Shoipov

33. On 21 August 2003 Mr Rasmbek Saydulayev and Mr Lom-Ali Shoipov were visiting the hospital in the settlement of Ordzhonikidzevskaya in Ingushetia. Whilst both men were in the building a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms and balaclavas with shields arrived at the hospital in several vehicles with tinted windows and number plates indicating that they were from region "95" (Chechnya).

34. They surrounded the hospital, entered its courtyard and started firing gunshots. Six men broke into the surgical wing and hit Mr Saydulayev over the head with a gun, rendering him unconscious. They then ordered the nurses to tie his legs together. Meanwhile, other service personnel severely beat Mr Shoipov, breaking his arm. They then took both Mr Saydulayev and Mr Shoipov out of the hospital. Mr I.I. was in the room next to the room where Mr Saydulayev was subjected to a beating and witnessed it.

35. The service personnel handcuffed Mr Saydulayev, Mr Shoipov and Mr I.I., forced them into a white GAZelle minivan with number plates including the digits A632...95 and drove away. It appears that the armed men also took away several other people, including Mr A.S.

2. Official investigation of the abduction

36. On 21 August 2003 the Sunzhenskiy district prosecutor's office in Ingushetia opened criminal case no. 23600052 under Articles 222 (illegal use of weapons) and 126 (abduction) of the CC into the abduction of Mr I.I. and Mr A.S.

37. On the same day the investigators examined the crime scene and found one of abductors' armoured shields bearing the letter "Ch" (Ч) and no. 9207005. According to the crime-scene-examination record, they collected several pieces of cloth, cartridge cases and samples of a "brownish substance" - apparently blood - and joined them to the case file as material evidence.

38. In late August 2003 the investigators questioned the hospital staff. Their statements were similar to the account of the events described above.

39. On 22 August 2003 the investigators questioned the head of a special mobile unit stationed in Ingushetia, Officer O.Ch. He submitted that at 7.30 a.m. on 21 August 2003 two GAZelle minivans and a Niva car had arrived at their headquarters and armed men of Slavic appearance in camouflage uniforms had got out. Their commander had introduced himself as Mr I.N. and had asked to provide them with the personal protective equipment needed to arrest a dangerous criminal in Ingushetia. Mr Ch. ordered that they be given helmets and shield no. 9207005.

40. On 25 August 2003 the investigators questioned the first deputy head of the special mobile unit, Mr K.Z. He stated that on 21 August 2003 his superior (Mr O.Ch.) had told him about a call which he had received from Khankala (Chechnya) from a person who had called had asked him to organise a briefing for officers from the regional operative headquarters of the Temporary United Group Alignment (Pеrиональный Oперативный штаб Bременной Oбъединенной Группировки Cил), based in Khankala, on account of a special operation which they had had to carry out in Ingushetia. Mr O.Ch. had asked Mr K.Z. to brief the officers. As soon as they had arrived Mr K.Z. had explained to them the situation in the region and recommended that they obtain personal protective equipment.

41. On 28 August 2003 the International Committee of the Red Cross requested the Chechnya Public Prosecutor's Office's assistance in establishing whereabouts of the applicants' relatives and other persons presumed arrested on 21 August 2003. Following that letter the investigators included the applicants' relatives Mr Rasmbek Saydulayev and Mr Lom-Ali Shoipov on the list of abducted persons and started an investigation in respect of them.

42. On 29 August 2003 the investigators requested that the headquarters of the Temporary United Group Alignment inform them of the special operation of 21 August 2003 and its results. The reply dated 19 January 2004 stated that no special operation had been carried out in respect of the missing persons, including the applicants' relatives.

43. On 30 September 2003 two police officers from a road checkpoint submitted that on 21 August 2003 they had seen two GAZelle minivans and a Niva car with armed men of Slavic appearance pass.

44. In October 2003 the investigators questioned several eyewitnesses to the events in the hospital, who submitted an account similar to that the applicants made before the Court.

45. On 8 February 2003 the investigators established that Mr Rasmbek Saydulayev was suspected of the attempted murder of a police officer and that Mr Lom-Ali Shoipov was suspected of terrorist attacks.

46. On 21 February 2004 the investigation was suspended for failure to establish the perpetrators.

47. It appears that on an unspecified date in February 2004 the investigation was resumed.

48. In late February 2004 the investigators questioned the relatives of Mr Rasmbek Saydulayev and Mr Lom-Ali Shoipov, who explained how they had learned about the events of 21 August 2003.

49. On 15 March 2004 the second applicant was granted victim status in the criminal proceedings.

50. On 17 March 2004 the investigators granted victim status to the father of Mr Rasmbek Saydulayev, the first applicant's husband.

51. On an unspecified date the investigation was suspended. The investigators resumed them again on 20 May 2004 and then on 20 June 2004 suspended them again.

52. On 4 July 2005 the second applicant together with relatives of the other abducted men contacted the Sunzhenskiy district prosecutor's office seeking that the investigation be resumed and certain investigative steps be taken. They also asked the investigators to provide them with detailed information about the progress in the case.

53. On 6 July 2005 the above request was dismissed by the investigators

54. On 13 December 2005 one of the relatives of the abducted persons, Mr M.P., informed the investigators of an article in a local newspaper under the headings "Armed raid in a hospital in Ingushetia". The article was accompanied by a photo depicting two men with their hands on the back of their heads being arrested by armed men in camouflage uniforms and balaclavas. Mr M.P. recognised his relatives among those arrestees.

55. On 15 December 2005 the investigators resumed the investigation.

56. On 21 December 2005 they admitted the newspaper in evidence and joined it to the case file.

57. On 14 January 2006 the investigation was suspended. They were subsequently resumed on 22 June 2006, 27 August 2010, 7 December 2011, and 11 April 2014; and then suspended on 23 July 2006, 26 September 2010, 7 January 2012, and 11 May 2014 respectively.

58. In the meantime, on 26 June 2006 Mr M.P. informed the investigators that the author of the article had obtained the photograph for it from an unknown email address.

59. On an unspecified date in February 2007 the relatives of the abducted people, including those of Mr Lom-Ali Shoipov, asked the investigators for an update on new developments in the case. In reply they were informed that the whereabouts of the victims had not been established and that the investigation had been suspended.

60. On 10 March 2011 the second applicant asked the investigators to grant her full access to the criminal case file. On 16 March 2011 her request was granted in part and she was allowed access to the decisions concerning the suspension of the investigation.

61. On 20 July 2015 the second applicant asked the investigators to resume the investigation and to allow her access to the case-file documents.

62. On 11 August 2015 the applicant was given access to the documents. The remainder of her request was dismissed by the investigators.

3. Proceedings against the investigators

63. On 23 June 2010 the relatives of the abducted persons, including those of Mr Lom-Ali Shoipov lodged a court claim with the Sunzhenskiy District Court in Ingushetia, seeking the annulment of the decision to suspend the investigation of 23 July 2006 and asking for the investigation to be resumed. Their claim was allowed on 29 June 2010.

64. On 21 March 2011 the second applicant complained to the same District Court against the investigators' decision of 16 March 2011 to give her only partial access to the case file. On 26 April 2011 the court dismissed her complaint. On 19 June 2011 the Supreme Court of Ingushetia upheld that decision on appeal.

C. Astamirova and Others v. Russia (no. 9616/12)

65. The first applicant is the mother of Mr Adam Novruzov, who was born in 1973. The second and third applicants are his sisters.

1. Abduction of Mr Adam Novruzov

66. At about 4 a.m. on 14 July 2003 the applicants and other members of their family were at home in Grozny when a group of about ten armed men in camouflage uniforms and balaclavas broke into their house. The men threatened all those present with firearms, searched the premises and forced Mr Adam Novruzov outside. The second applicant tried to stop the men who were taking her brother away, but they started shooting in the air preventing her from any further actions.

67. The service personnel took Mr Adam Novruzov on foot to the nearby Mazayeva Street, where two grey military UAZ minivans were waiting. They loaded him into one of the vehicles and drove off. According to the applicants, during the search the abductors took away several pieces of jewellery belonging to the family (two golden chains and one gold ring with diamonds).

68. According to the applicants' submissions, several other residents of Grozny were abducted on the same night under similar circumstances.

2. Official investigation into the abduction

69. On 14 July 2003 the applicants informed the authorities of the events and requested that criminal proceedings be opened. They also reported the disappearance of the jewellery items (see paragraph 67 above).

70. On the same date a police officer of the Department of the Interior office in Zavodskoy district in Grozny ("the Zavodskoy ROVD") examined the crime scene. A machine-gun cartridge case was collected as evidence.

71. Later on during the day the investigators from the Zavodskoy district prosecutors' office of Grozny (the investigators) examined the crime scene. Another machine-gun casing, a bullet and fingerprints from window frames were discovered and collected as evidence.

72. On 21 July 2003 the Zavodskoy ROVD informed the investigators that a special operation had been conducted by a federal special forces in the area of the abduction.

73. On 23 July 2003 the investigators opened criminal case no. 30119 under Article 126 of the CC (abduction).

74. On 24 July 2003 the first applicant was granted victim status and questioned. She confirmed the circumstances of the abduction and the property seizure described above.

75. On 6 and 11 August 2003 the second and third applicants were questioned. They also confirmed the circumstances of the events as described above and added that the stolen jewellery belonged to the second applicant.

76. On 23 September 2003 the investigation in the case was suspended for failure to identify the perpetrators. Subsequently, it was resumed on several occasions following supervisors' orders and criticism and then again suspended. Thus, the investigations were resumed on 9 February 2005, 26 January 2007, 24 November 2008, 11 July 2011 and suspended on 9 March 2005, 26 February 2007, 27 December 2008 and 21 July 2011 respectively.

77. On unspecified dates in January 2005, and on 3 February 2007 and on 28 November 2008 the investigators asked a number of law–enforcement agencies to inform them whether the latter had arrested or detained Mr Adam Novzurov or whether they were in possession of any information about his whereabouts. No replies with information were received.

78. On 20 and 23 February 2005 the third and second applicants were questioned again. They reiterated their previously given statements.

79. On 30 April 2005 the Department of the Interior office in Oktyabrskiy district in Grozny ("the Oktyabrskiy ROVD") informed the investigators that according to information collected during operational search activities, Mr Adam Novruzov had been serving a sentence in one of the correctional facilities in Saratov Region.

80. On the same date the Oktyabrskiy ROVD asked the head of the Federal Service for the Execution of Sentences in Saratov Region to provide information on whether Mr Adam Novruzov had been or was detained in that region. It is unclear whether any response was given to this request.

81. On 26 January 2007 the first applicant was questioned. She reiterated her previously given statement concerning the abduction and additionally stated that a certain Mr M.Ch. and Mr A.U., law-enforcement officers in 2003, had allegedly been involved in the abduction.

82. On 7 February 2007 Mr A.U., a police officer at the time of the abduction, was questioned. He denied any involvement in the incident.

83. On 7 March 2007 the investigators were informed that Mr M.Ch. was serving a sentence in a correctional facility in Penza Region after his conviction by a court for a number of criminal offences.

84. On 9 December 2008 the investigators questioned several of the applicants' neighbours who had witnessed the abduction. All of them confirmed its circumstances as described above.

85. On 16 December 2011 the first applicant requested that the investigators grant her access to the case file. The outcome of this request is unknown.

3. Proceedings against the investigators

86. On 27 June 2011 the first applicant challenged the investigators' failure to take basic investigative steps before the Zavodskoy District Court of Grozny.

87. On 12 July 2011 the court rejected her complaint, having found that the day earlier, on 11 July 2011, the investigators had already resumed the investigation.

D. Daniyeva v. Russia (no. 25514/13)

88. The applicant is the wife of Mr Umar Dzhabrailov, who was born in 1953.

1. Abduction of Mr Umar Dzhabrailov

89. At about 3 a.m. on 12 December 2003 six armed men in balaclavas arrived at the applicant's house in the village of Shaami-Yurt in a UAZ vehicle and an armoured personnel carrier ("APC") and took Mr Umar Dzhabrailov away to an unknown location.

2. Official investigation of the abduction

90. On 12 December 2003 the applicant complained of the abduction to the Department of the Interior office in Achkhoy-Martan district.

91. On the same day the investigators examined the crime scene, questioned the applicant, her neighbour and personnel who had been stationed with military units located nearby. In the applicant's house they collected two cartridge cases as evidence.

92. On 15 December 2003 the Achkhoy-Martan district prosecutor's office opened criminal case no. 44091 under Article 126 of the CC (abduction). The investigators put forward several versions of the events, including the arrest of Mr Umar Dzhabrailov by State agents.

93. On 15 December 2003 the applicant was questioned again. Her statement was similar to the account of the events given by the applicant in the submissions to the Court. She also mentioned that the abductors had spoken Russian.

94. On the next day, 16 December 2003, the applicant was granted victim status in the criminal proceedings. Having been questioned once again, she confirmed her previously given statement.

95. On 20 December 2003 the investigators questioned one of the applicant's neighbours, who had seen through his window several persons in camouflage uniforms leaving the applicant's house at about 3 a.m. on 12 December 2003.

96. In December 2003 the investigators also sent several requests to law-enforcement and military authorities to check if Mr Umar Dzhabrailov had been arrested during a special operation. They replied that they had no information.

97. On 5 January 2004 the investigators ordered an examination of the cartridge cases from the applicant's house by ballistic experts. The outcome of the examination is unknown.

98. On 15 February 2004 the investigators suspended the investigation for failure to identify the perpetrators. It appears that the applicant was not informed of that decision.

99. On 11 June 2008, following criticism from a supervising prosecutor, the decision of 15 February 2004 to suspend the investigation was annulled and the investigation was resumed.

100. Subsequently the investigation was suspended on 16 July 2008, 6 September 2009, 6 December 2011 and 3 February 2013, and then resumed on 5 August 2008, 1 December 2011 and 24 January 2013 respectively.

101. In the meantime, on 30 April 2010 one of Mr Umar Dzhabrailov's relatives enquired about the developments in the investigation. On 7 May 2010 the investigators informed him that the investigation was ongoing.

102. On 16 June 2011 the applicant asked the investigators to resume the investigation and to allow her to make copies from the case-file documents. On 23 June 2011 her request was granted in part and she obtained a copy of the contents of the criminal case file.

3. Proceedings against the investigators

103. On 16 November 2011 and 17 January 2013 the applicant complained to the Urus–Martan Town Court and to the Achkhoy–Martan District Court respectively about the investigators' decisions of 6 September 2009 and 6 December 2011 to suspend the criminal investigation.

104. On 2 December 2011 and 25 January 2013 the Urus–Martan Town Court and the Achkhoy–Martan District Court respectively rejected her complaints on the grounds that the investigators had already resumed the investigation.

105. On 5 December 2011 the applicant unsuccessfully appealed against the decision of 2 December 2011. The Supreme Court of Chechnya dismissed her appeal on 28 December 2011.

E. Tumsoyeva and Others v. Russia (no. 25531/13)

106. The first applicant is the wife of Mr Yusup Khamzatov, who was born in 1948. The second and third applicants are his sons.

1. Abduction of Mr Yusup Khamzatov

107. In the morning of 23 May 2002 about thirty armed men in camouflage uniforms arrived at the applicants' house in the village of Zakan-Yurt in two VAZ cars (VAZ-21099 and VAZ-2107), a UAZ minivan and an APC and took Mr Yusup Khamzatov away to an unknown destination.

2. Official investigation into the abduction

108. On 23 May 2002 the second applicant complained of the abduction of his father to the Achkhoy-Martan district prosecutor's office.

109. On 25 May 2002 the Achkhoy-Martan district prosecutor's office opened criminal case no. 63036 under Article 127 of the CC (unlawful detention) and granted victim status to the first applicant.

110. On the same day the investigators questioned the first applicant. She confirmed the circumstances of the abduction, as described above.

111. On 27-29 May 2002 the investigators questioned three of the applicants' neighbours, Ms K.Y., Ms S.A. and Mr M.M. They submitted that at about 2.30 a.m. on 23 May 2002 they had seen several men in camouflage uniforms and balaclavas dragging Mr Yusup Khamzatov from his house to a UAZ minivan, which had been parked together with an APC in front of the applicants' house.

112. On 10 June 2002 the second applicant was informed of the institution of the criminal proceedings into the circumstances of his father's abduction.

113. On 7 July 2002 the Chechnya Public Prosecutor's Office stated in reply to the second applicant's request for information that the abduction complaint had been forwarded to the Achkhoy-Martan district prosecutor's office.

114. On 25 July 2002 the investigators suspended the investigation for failure to identify the perpetrators. It appears that he applicants were not informed of that decision.

115. On 24 November 2003 the Achkhoy-Martan District Court, following an application by the first applicant, declared Mr Yusup Khamzatov a missing person.

116. On an unspecified date in 2005 the investigation was reopened and on 22 September 2005 one of Mr Yusup Khamzatov's relatives, Ms T.S. was granted victim status. At some point later the investigation was suspended again.

117. On 17 June 2008 the investigators resumed the investigation.

118. On 21 June 2008 the investigators questioned five village residents, who gave hearsay evidence about the abduction of Mr Yusup Khamzatov by armed men in camouflage uniforms.

119. On 17 July 2008 the investigators suspended the investigation.

120. On 4 March 2009 the second applicant requested that the investigators provide him with copies of certain documents from the criminal case file. On an unspecified date the request was granted.

121. On 20 July 2011 the first applicant requested that the investigators allow her to access the criminal case file. On the next day, the applicant's request was granted.

122. On 7 September 2011 the investigators resumed the criminal investigation. Then they suspended them on 17 September 2011, and resumed them again 24 January 2013.

123. On 28 February 2012, following an application by the first applicant, the Achkhoy-Martan District Court declared Mr Yusup Khamzatov a deceased person.

3. Proceedings against the investigators

124. On 24 August 2011 and 24 December 2012 the first applicant lodged complaints with the Urus–Martan Town Court and the Achkhoy–Martan District Court respectively. She alleged that the investigators had failed to effectively investigate her husband's abduction.

125. On 8 September 2011 and 25 January 2013 the courts rejected her complaints on the grounds that the investigation had already been resumed.

126. The first applicant unsuccessfully appealed against the decision of 8 September 2011, which was upheld on appeal by the Supreme Court of Chechnya on 12 October 2011.

4. Application for a special one-off social grant

127. On 4 April 2012 the first applicant applied to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social Development of the Chechen Republic for a special one-off social grant (единовременная денежная помощь) in the amount of 20,000 Russian roubles (RUB - approximately 487 euros (EUR)) to be paid on account of her husband's death.

128. On an unspecified date her application was dismissed and the applicant lodged a civil claim with the Leninskiy District Court of Grozny seeking allocation of the special grant.

129. On 26 June 2012 the court granted the claim, and awarded her the special grant (social aid) in the amount of RUB 20,000 (approximately EUR 487 euros). The judgment became final on 27 July 2012.

F. Aliyevy v. Russia (no. 26859/13)

130. The applicants are the parents of Mr Rustam Aliyev, who was born in 1982.

1. Abduction of Mr Rustam Aliyev and subsequent events

(a) Abduction of Mr Rustam Aliyev

131. At about 6 a.m. on 7 July 2003 a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms, most of whom were in balaclavas, arrived in a Ural lorry and two UAZ minivans at the applicant's house in the settlement of Belgatoy. Two of the men, who were not wearing balaclavas, were of Slavic appearance and spoke unaccented Russian.

132. One of the men was of Asian appearance and of Buryat ethnicity. The first applicant recognised him, because previously he (the first applicant) had repaired his car and sports equipment. That man served in the special-purpose militia units (Oтдел милиции особоrо назначения (OМOН) - "the OMON") and manned a checkpoint in Belgatoy.

133. The armed men broke in the applicants' house and took the first applicant and Mr Rustam Aliyev into the yard. Then they checked their identity documents, pulled Mr Rustam Aliyev's T-shirt over his head and took him away in one of their vehicles.

134. The abduction took place in the presence of Mr Rustam Aliyev's wife (Ms Kh.B.), and the applicants' neighbour Mr U.Kh.

(b) Subsequent events

135. On 9 or 10 July 2003 a man approached the applicants and promised his assistance with the release of Mr Rustam Aliyev in return for payment. A few days later the man told the applicants that Mr Rustam Aliyev had been detained on the premises of the Federal Security Service (Федеральная Cлужба Безопасности (ФCБ) - "the FSB") in the town of Shali and that it had been impossible to secure his release.

2. Official investigation into the abduction

136. On 7 July 2003 the applicants complained of the abduction to the Department of the Interior office in Shali district.

137. On 8 July 2003 the investigators examined the crime scene. No evidence was collected.

138. On 2 August 2003 the Shali district prosecutor's office opened criminal case no. 22120 under Article 126 of the CC (abduction).

139. On 10 August 2003 the first applicant was granted victim status in the criminal proceedings

140. On 10 and 15 August 2003 the investigators questioned the first applicant and Mr Rustam Aliyev's wife. Their statements were similar to the account of the events submitted by the applicants to the Court.

141. In August-October 2003 the investigators sent several requests to law-enforcement and military authorities to check if Mr Rustam Aliyev had been arrested during a special operation. They replied that they had no information.

142. On 2 October 2003 the investigators suspended the investigation for failure to identify the perpetrators.

143. On 16 January 2004 the Shali district prosecutor's office informed the second applicant that it had been taking investigative steps to establish her son's whereabouts.

144. On an unspecified date in 2004 the second applicant asked the Presidential Commission on Human Rights to assist in the search for her son. On 9 August 2004 the Commission asked the Shali district prosecutor's office to update the second applicant on the progress of the investigation. On 16 January 2004 the latter was informed that the investigation was ongoing.

145. On 21 February 2005 the investigators found a cache with firearms and the identity documents of Mr Rustam Aliyev and Mr Muslim Abzailov (see Magomadova and Timirsultanov v. Russia, no. 26874/13, paragraph 168 below). On 16 June 2005 the related documents were joined to the criminal case file.

146. On 5 April 2007 following a request by the second applicant regarding the progress of the investigation, she was informed that the investigators had been taking measures to establish Mr Rustam Aliyev's whereabouts.

147. On 17 April 2007 the investigators resumed the investigation.

148. On 20 April 2007 they questioned the applicants' neighbour, Mr U.Kh, who had witnessed the abduction and confirmed the applicants' account of the events.

149. On 18 May 2007 the investigators suspended the investigation.

150. On 15 June 2009 the second applicant contacted the Chechen President and the chairperson of the Chechen Parliament's committee for the search for missing persons respectively, asking for their assistance in the search for her missing relative. The requests were forwarded to the investigating authorities, which informed the applicant on 21 July 2009 that the criminal investigation was still ongoing.

151. On 23 April 2012 the investigators resumed the investigation, on 25 April 2012 they granted the second applicant victim status in the criminal proceedings and then on 27 April 2012 suspended them again.

152. On 29 June 2012 the second applicant asked the investigators to resume the criminal investigation. Two days later her request was dismissed.

153. On 1 February 2013 the second applicant repeated her previous request. She also asked the investigators to allow her to review the criminal case file. On 4 February 2013 she was granted access to the case-file documents.

G. Magomadova and Timirsultanova v. Russia (no. 26874/13)

154. The first applicant is the wife of Mr Khizir Magomadov, who was born in 1965. The second applicant is the wife of Mr Muslim Abzailov, who was born in 1974.

1. Abduction of Mr Khizir Magomadov and Mr Muslim Abzailov

155. On 6 July 2003 Mr Khizir Magomadov - who at the relevant time was a trainee in the police - Mr Muslim Abzailov and Ms F.G. went to the village of Noviye Atagi in Mr Muslim Abzailov's car.

156. On the motorway between the town of Shali and Noviye Atagi their car broke down in the vicinity of the 70th tank regiment's base. They stopped to repair it. Shortly after an armoured Ural lorry approached. Several men from the lorry checked the identity documents of Mr Khizir Magomadov and Mr Muslim Abzailov and then forcibly took them away in the direction of Shali. Ms F.G. returned home by taxi.

2. Official investigation into the abductions

157. On 7 July 2003 Mr Khizir Magomadov's and Mr Muslim Abzailov's families complained of the abduction to the police.

158. On 9 July 2003 Mr Khizir Magomadov's and Mr Muslim Abzailov's brothers requested the assistance of the Shali district prosecutor's office in the search for their relatives.

159. On 4 August 2003 the investigators opened criminal case no. 22122 into the abduction of Mr Khizir Magomadov and Mr M. Abzailov under Article 126 of the CC (abduction).

160. On 28 August 2003 an uncle of Mr Khizir Magomadov was granted victim status in the criminal proceedings.

161. On 15 September 2003 the investigators questioned Ms F.G. She submitted that Mr Khizir Magomadov and Mr Muslim Abzailov had been abducted by armed men in camouflage uniforms who had arrived in an Ural lorry.

162. In August-October 2003 the investigators sent several requests to law-enforcement and military authorities to check if they had any information concerning Mr Khizir Magomadov's and Mr Muslim Abzailov's whereabouts. They replied that they had no information.

163. On 4 October 2003 the investigation of the criminal case was suspended for failure to identify the perpetrators.

164. On 29 January 2004 the investigators informed the second applicant that they were taking measures to establish the whereabouts of her husband and to identify the perpetrators of his abduction.

165. On 15 July 2004 the first applicant asked the Russian Ombudsman to assist in the search of her husband. Her request was forwarded to the investigators, who replied that the search was under way (the date of the reply is illegible).

166. On 5 August 2004, following an application by the first applicant, the Shali District Court declared Mr Khizir Magomadov a missing person.

167. On 11 August 2004, following an application by the second applicant, the Oktyabrskiy District Court declared Mr Muslim Abzailov a missing person.

168. On 21 February 2005 the investigators found a cache of firearms and the identity documents of Mr Muslim Abzailov (see paragraph 145 above). It is unclear whether the related documents were included in the case file.

169. On 28 March 2006 the investigators resumed the criminal investigation.

170. On 4 April and 10 April 2006 the investigators granted victim status to the first and second applicants.

171. On 29 April 2006 the investigation was suspended.

172. On 30 July 2007 the second applicant complained of the above decision to the Shali district prosecutor's office. On 1 August 2007 the prosecutor's office annulled it and ordered that the criminal investigation be resumed.

173. The investigators resumed the investigation on 1 August 2007 and suspended them again on 1 September 2007.

174. On 15 June 2008 the second applicant asked the NGO Svetliy Put to assist her in establishing her husband's whereabouts.

175. On 28 August 2008 the Shali District Court declared Mr Khizir Magomadov a deceased person.

176. In April 2009 the applicants contacted various authorities seeking their assistance in the search for their missing relatives. Their requests were forwarded to the investigators, who informed the applicants on 20 May 2009 that the investigation had been suspended for failure to establish the perpetrators and that the operative-search activity was still ongoing.

177. On 20 February 2013 the first applicant requested that the investigators grant her access to the criminal case file. Her request was granted on 4 March 2013.

178. In 2014 the applicants asked a number of law-enforcement authorities to assist them in establishing their husbands' whereabouts, but no tangible progress followed.

3. Proceedings for compensation of non-pecuniary damage

179. On an unspecified date the first applicant lodged a civil claim with the Leninskiy District Court of Grozny seeking compensation for non–pecuniary damage in the amount of RUB 5,000,000 (approximately EUR 123,950) caused by the alleged arrest and subsequent killing of Mr Khizir Magomadov by service personnel.

180. Having examined the documents from the criminal case file the court concluded that Mr Khizir Magomadov had been arrested by state agents and that the ensuing investigation had been ineffective. Bearing that in mind, on 17 December 2012 the court partly granted the first applicant's claim awarding her RUB 950,000 (approximately EUR 23,550) in compensation for non-pecuniary damage. The judgment became final on 18 January 2013.

H. Akhyadova and Others v. Russia (no. 73542/14)

181. The first applicant is the mother of Ms Bariyat (also spelled as Bariya and also known as Makka) Akhyadova, who was born in 1981. The second, third, fourth and fifth applicants are her sisters and brother. The sixth and seventh applicants are her children.

1. Abduction of Ms Bariyat Akhyadova

182. At about 4 a.m. on 6 October 2004 a group of about ten armed men in camouflage uniforms and balaclavas arrived at the applicants' house in the town of Vedeno in a UAZ minivan and a UAZ car without registration plates. The men spoke unaccented Russian and were in balaclavas. They made a forced entry into the house, arrested Ms Bariyat Akhyadova and took her away in one of the vehicles to an unknown destination.

2. Subsequent events

183. At about noon on 8 October 2004 presumably the same group of armed service personnel in camouflage uniforms and balaclavas again arrived at the applicants' house in a UAZ minivan and an APC. They searched for Ms Bariyat Akhyadova's children (the sixth and seventh applicants) and left having not found them in the house.

3. Official investigation into the abduction

184. On 6 October 2004 the first applicants informed the local police of the abduction and requested that a criminal investigation be opened.

185. On the same date the investigators examined the crime scene (no evidence was collected), and questioned the first applicant and her husband. They provided the investigators with details of the abduction, which were similar to those set out above.

186. On 11 November 2004 the Vedeno district prosecutor's office opened criminal case no. 43052 under Article 126 of the CC (abduction).

187. On 12 November 2004 first applicant was granted victim status in the case. She was questioned the following day and she repeated her previous statement.

188. On 15 November 2004 the investigators asked law-enforcement authorities to inform them if Ms Bariyat Akhyadova had been arrested during a special operation. They replied that they had no information.

189. On 11 January 2005 the investigation in the case was suspended for failure to identify the perpetrators.

190. On 18 October 2005, following an application by the first applicant, the Vedeno District Court declared Ms Bariyat Akhyadova a missing person.

191. On 27 November 2006 the investigators resumed the investigation and questioned the first applicant once again. She informed them of the repeated visits by armed men, who had searched Ms Bariyat Akhyadova's children on 8 October 2004 (see paragraph 183 above).

192. On 27 December 2006 the investigation was suspended. The investigators subsequently resumed them on 24 July 2007.

193. On 3 August 2007 the first applicant, referring to a statement of the Vedeno prosecutor allegedly made in a private conversation with her, informed the investigators that on 8 October 2004 the armed men had arrived in the APC at her address with Ms Bariyat Akhyadova in the vehicle.

194. On 24 August 2007 the investigation was suspended. It was subsequently resumed on 17 January 2008, 21 June and 10 September 2014, 15 January 2016, and suspended on 21 February 2008, 1 July and 20 September 2014, 15 February 2016 respectively. It is not clear if the investigators informed the applicants of their decision to suspend the investigation on 21 February 2008.

195. In the meantime, on 23 November 2007 he Vedeno District Court, following an application by the first applicant, declared Ms Bariyat Akhyadova dead.

196. On 20 June 2011 and 23 January 2012 the first applicant asked the investigators to inform her of the progress of the investigation, to resume the investigation if it had been suspended, and to allow her to review the case file.

197. On 27 January 2012 the first applicant was allowed to review the case file, but the investigators refused to resume the investigation.

198. On 23, 26 and 28 June 2014 the investigators questioned the first, the fourth and the fifth applicants respectively. Their statements were similar to their account of the events before the Court.

199. On 12 September 2014 the first applicant requested that the investigators allow her review the case file. On an unspecified date in September 2014 her request was granted.

200. On various dates in January and February 2016 the investigators questioned some of the applicants, who reiterated the account of the events as described by the first applicant. The applicants' neighbours were also questioned. They submitted that having been woken up by noise from the applicants' house on 6 October 2004, they had seen several vehicles leaving the vicinity of the applicant's house.

201. On 9 February 2016 the first applicant was given access to the case file following a request by her.

4. Proceedings against the investigators

202. On 3 April 2014 the first applicant lodged a complaint with the Vedeno District Court challenging the decision of 21 February 2008 to suspend the investigation and the investigators' failure to take basic steps. The court dismissed her claim on 10 April 2014.

203. The first applicant challenged the above decision on appeal. The Supreme Court of Chechnya quashed the impugned decision and remitted the case for a fresh consideration on 28 May 2014.

204. On 11 June 2014 the Vedeno District Court rejected the claim, finding that on 10 June 2014 the investigators' superior had annulled the impugned decision and ordered that the criminal investigation be resumed.

I. Pashayeva and Musaitova v. Russia (no. 11542/15)

205. The first applicant is the mother of Mr Salambek Taysumov, who was born in 1985. The second applicant is his cousin.

1. Abduction of Mr Salambek Taysumov

206. At about 6 p.m. on 5 June 2004 Mr Salambek Taysumov was walking down a street in the town of Vedeno, Chechnya, when ten to fifteen armed men in camouflage uniforms and balaclavas arrested him, forced him into a grey UAZ minivan without registration plates and drove off to the village of Oktyabrskoe, Chechnya.

2. Official investigation into the abduction

207. According to the first applicant, immediately after the abduction of her son, she contacted the local police office, but they were unable to establish Mr Salambek Taysumov's whereabouts.

208. On 18 August 2004 the first applicant complained to the chairperson of the Chechen Parliament of the abduction of her son. Her complaint was forwarded to the Vedeno district prosecutor's office, which opened criminal case no. 43034 under Article 126 of the CC (abduction) on 2 September 2004.

209. On 13 September 2004 the first applicant was granted victim status in the case and questioned. She submitted that in the evening of 5 June 2004 she had seen the perpetrators' grey UAZ minivan, which had not had registration plates.

210. On an unspecified date the head of the Vedeno District Department of the Interior, Mr A.A., informed the investigators that Mr Salambek Taysumov had been arrested by service personnel from the Vostok battalion stationed in Oktyabrskoe.

211. On 1 November 2004 the investigators questioned Mr A.A. He refused to disclose the source of the information about the involvement of the Vostok battalion, stating that it was classified.

212. On 2 November 2004 the investigation in the case was suspended for failure to identify the perpetrators. This decision was quashed on 27 November 2006 and the investigation was resumed. They were again suspended on 27 January 2007 and subsequently resumed on 18 August 2014.

213. In the meantime, on 16 April 2007 the first applicant asked the Chechen President to assist in the search for her son. Her request was forwarded to the investigators, who informed her on 9 May 2007 that the investigation had been suspended, but operative-search measures aiming at establishing her son's whereabouts had been ongoing.

214. On 17 February 2008 and 18 June and 1 July 2009 the first applicant contacted the Chechen President, the prosecutor of the Vedeno District and the Chechen Ombudsman, seeking their assistance in the investigation.

215. On 16 July 2009 the investigators informed her that the criminal investigation had been suspended, but the operative-search activity was continuing.

216. On 13 February 2014 the first applicant requested that the investigators inform her about progress in the investigation and grant her access to the criminal case file. By a letter of 26 February 2014 the investigators replied that the investigation had been suspended and invited her to review the case file.

217. On 18 August 2014 after a complaint by the applicant to the Vedeno District Court (see below) the investigators resumed the investigation.

218. On 28 August 2014 the investigation was suspended. The investigators then resumed it on 21 November 2016.

219. On 22 November 2016 the investigators examined the crime scene. No evidence was collected.

220. On the same day the investigators also questioned the first applicant, who submitted that she had seen ten to fifteen armed men in camouflage uniforms grabbing her son and then taking him away in a grey UAZ minivan in the direction of Oktyabrskoe. According to her, immediately after that she had contacted the local police, but the latter had been unable to establish Mr Salambek Taysumov's whereabouts.

221. On 22 November 2016, the investigators also obtained a DNA sample from the first applicant to compare it with a database of unidentified remains.

222. Between 22 and 24 November 2016 the investigators questioned several village residents who gave hearsay evidence confirming the applicants' account of the events.

3. Proceedings against the investigators

223. On 14 August 2014 the first applicant lodged a complaint with the Vedeno District Court challenging the decision of 27 January 2007 to suspend the investigation and the investigators' failure to take basic investigative steps.

224. On 22 August 2014 the court rejected the complaint, having found that on 18 August 2014 the investigators had already resumed the investigation. On 30 September 2014 the Supreme Court of Chechnya upheld this decision on appeal.

J. Taysumova v. Russia (no. 50260/15)

225. The applicant is the sister of Mr Adam Taysumov, who was born in 1980.

1. Abduction of Mr Adam Taysumov

226. At about 8 p.m. on 27 September 2004 a group of about ten armed men in camouflage uniforms arrived at Mr Adam Taysumov's house in the village of Novyye Atagi in a KAVS bus with registration plates containing the digits 448 95. The men were of Slavic appearance and spoke unaccented Russian. They checked Mr Adam Taysumov's identity documents, then forced him into the bus and drove off in the direction of Grozny.

227. The abduction took place in the presence of several witnesses, including his parents (Ms T.T. and Mr I.T.), his wife (Ms A.M.) and neighbours.

2. Official investigation into the abduction

228. On 28 September 2004, following a request by Mr Adam Taysumov's mother, the mayor of Novyye Atagi informed the Shali district prosecutor of the abduction and requested that a criminal investigation be opened.

229. On 30 September 2004 Ms T.T. and Mr I.T. were questioned. Their statements concerning the circumstances of the abduction were similar to the applicant's account before the Court.

230. On 1 December 2004 the Shali district prosecutor's office opened criminal case no. 36140 under Article 126 of the CC (abduction).

231. On 3 December 2004 the investigators examined the crime scene. No evidence was collected.

232. On 7 December 2004 Ms A.M. was granted victim status in the case and questioned. Her account of the events was similar to the applicant's submission to the Court.

233. In December 2004, February 2006, February 2007 and then in April and May 2015 the investigators asked a large number of law-enforcement authorities and medical institutions to inform them whether they had arrested, detained or provided medical assistance to Mr Adam Taysumov, whether any special operations had been conducted in Novyye Atagi on 27 September 2004 and whether there was any information available about the owner of a KAVS bus with registration plates containing the digits 448 95. The requests did not yield any pertinent information.

234. On 6 January 2005 the investigators again questioned Ms T.T. She reiterated her previous statement.

235. On 9 January 2005, 27 and 28 November 2014, and between 15 and 22 April 2015 the investigators questioned a number of witnesses, most of whom had been the applicant's neighbours at the time of the abduction. All of them submitted that on the evening of the day of the abduction they had seen a group of service personnel in camouflage uniforms, who had arrived by bus at the Taysumovs' family house.

236. On 1 February 2005 the investigation was suspended for failure to identify the perpetrators. Subsequently, the investigation was resumed and suspended on numerous occasions. It was resumed on 25 May 2005, 9 January and 15 May 2007, 24 November 2014 and 9 April 2015 and suspended respectively on 2 July 2005, 19 June 2007, 29 November 2014, 9 May 2015.

237. In the meantime on 19 January 2007 the investigators questioned the applicant. She submitted that at the time of the abduction she had not been at home. She had returned home shortly after the incident and found her family members crying. From them she had learned that Mr Adam Taysumov had been abducted by armed men in camouflage uniforms.

238. On 27 April 2010 Ms A.M. contacted the Chechen Parliament's committee for the search for missing persons, asking for its assistance in the search for her husband. On 11 May 2010 her request was forwarded to the investigators, who informed her on 19 June 2010 that the investigation had been suspended.

239. On 2 May 2012 Ms A.M. requested that the investigators grant her access to the criminal case file. Her request was granted on 4 May 2012.

240. On 19 November 2014 Ms A.M. requested that the investigators grant her access to the criminal case file again. In a separate request lodged with them on the same day she asked to be provided with copies of certain documents related to the investigation. Her requests were dismissed by the investigators on 27 November and 16 December 2014.

241. On 26 November 2014 the applicant was granted victim status in the case and questioned. Her statement was similar to the previously given one.

242. On 4 March 2015 the applicant asked the investigators to provide her with copies of certain documents from the case file. Her request was dismissed on 11 March 2015.

243. On 10 April 2015 the investigators again questioned Ms A.M. She reiterated her previous statement.

244. On 14 April 2015 the investigators obtained a DNA sample from Mr Adam Taysumov's daughter to find matches in the database of unidentified bodies. The results obtained on 21 September 2016 indicated that no matches had been found.

245. On 15 April 2015 Ms A.M. enquired about the progress in the case and asked the investigators to carry out specific investigative measures. On 28 April 2015 the investigators promised to consider her suggestions.

246. In the meantime, on 20 April 2015 the Department of the Interior office in Shali district informed the investigators that Mr Taysumov had been a member of an illegal armed group which had been operating in Novyye Atagi at the material time.

247. On various dates in April-May 2015 the investigators questioned several owners of vehicles with registration plates containing the digits 448 95, who claimed that the vehicles had been bought by them from third parties in 2005-06.

248. On 23 December 2015 Ms A.M. asked the investigators whether the investigation had been suspended. On 25 December 2015 she was informed of the decision to suspend the investigation on 9 May 2015.

3. Proceedings against the investigators

249. On 11 August 2015 the applicant lodged a complaint with the Shali Town Court, challenging the decision of 9 May 2015 to suspend the investigation.

250. On 25 August 2015 the court dismissed the complaint as unfounded.

II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW AND INTERNATIONAL MATERIAL

251. For a summary of the relevant domestic law and international and domestic reports on disappearances in Chechnya and Ingushetia, see Aslakhanova and Others v. Russia (nos. 2944/06, 8300/07, 50184/07, 332/08 and 42509/10, §§ 43-59 and §§ 69-84, 18 December 2012).

Uzasadnienie prawne

THE LAW

I. JOINDER OF THE APPLICATIONS

252. In accordance with Rule 42 § 1 of the Rules of Court, the Court decides to join the applications, given their similar factual and legal background.

II. PRELIMINARY ISSUES

253. In respect of Aliyevy v. Russia (no. 26859/13) and Magomadova and Timirsultanova v. Russia (no. 26874/13) the Government stated that the application forms submitted by the applicants had not been signed or dated. In Magomadova and Timirsultanova v. Russia (no. 26874/13) the Government also alleged that it had been prepared by a lawyer who had not submitted a power of attorney on time.

254. The Court observes that both application forms were duly signed and dated by the applicants at the time of their submission to the Court. Accordingly, in Magomadova and Timirsultanova (no. 26874/13) there was no need to submit a power of attorney at that time. Therefore, it rejects the Government's argument.

III. THE ALLEGED LOSS OF VICTIM STATUS

255. The Government claimed that the first applicants in Tumsoyeva and Others v. Russia (no. 25531/13) and Magomadova and Timirsultanova (no. 26874/13) were no longer victims of the alleged violations, because the domestic courts had awarded them pecuniary compensation in connection with the disappearance of their relatives (see paragraphs 129 and 180 above).

256. The applicants contested that allegation. In particular, the applicants in Tumsoyeva and Others (no. 25531/13) argued that the fate of Mr Yusup Khamzatov remained unknown and that the domestic award had not covered the non-pecuniary damage they had suffered.

257. The Court reiterates that "a decision or measure favourable to the applicant is not in principle sufficient to deprive him or her of his or her status as a "victim" unless the national authorities have acknowledged, either expressly or in substance, and then afforded redress for, the breach of the Convention. (see Amuur v. France, judgment of 25 June 1996, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1996-III, p. 846, § 36; Dalban v. Romania [GC], no. 28114/95, § 44, ECHR 1999-VI; and Rotaru v. Romania [GC], no. 28341/95, § 35, ECHR 2000-V). Only when these conditions are satisfied does the subsidiary nature of the protective mechanism of the Convention preclude examination of an application (see, for example, Jensen and Rasmussen v. Denmark (dec.), no. 52620/99, 20 March 2003).

258. The Court notes at the outset that the compensations received by the applicants at the domestic level were significantly lower than the Court's awards in similar cases (compare Umarova and Others v. Russia, no. 25654/08, § 125, 31 July 2012). Furthermore, in Tumsoyeva and Others (no. 25531/13) the domestic authorities did not acknowledge either expressly or in substance, the violations alleged. However, most importantly, in the civil proceedings referred to by the Government, the domestic courts were unable to conduct an investigation capable of leading to the identification and punishment of those responsible for the abductions that is to say to provide adequate redress (see Khashiyev and Akayeva v. Russia, nos. 57942/00 and 57945/00, § 121, 24 February 2005). To find otherwise would render the State's obligations under Articles 2 and 13 of the Convention illusory.

259. Accordingly, the Government's argument regarding the loss of victim status is also rejected.

IV. COMPLIANCE WITH THE SIX-MONTH RULE

A. The parties' submissions

1. The Government

260. In their observations, the Government argued that the applicants had lodged their applications with the Court several years after the abductions of their relatives, and more than six months after the date when they ought to have become aware of the ineffectiveness of the ensuing investigations, or more than six months after the most recent decision of the investigators. The Government also pointed out that the applicants in all of the applications, particularly in Astamirova and Others v. Russia (no. 9616/12), Daniyeva v. Russia (no. 25514/13), Magomadova and Timirsultanova (no. 26874/13), Akhyadova and Others v. Russia (no. 73542/14), Pashayeva and Musaitova v. Russia (no. 11542/15) and Taysumova v. Russia (no. 50260/15) had remained passive and had not maintained contact with the investigating authorities for a significant amount of time. The Government furthermore alleged that the applicant's representative in Daniyeva (no. 25514/13) had been aware of the Court's case-law and should have urged his client to lodge the application with the Court earlier. According to the Government, all the applications should be declared inadmissible as brought "out of time".

2. The applicants

261. The applicants submitted that they had complied with the six–month rule. They had taken all possible steps within a reasonable time–limit to initiate the searches for their missing relatives and assist the authorities in the proceedings. They submitted that there had been no excessive or unexplained delays in lodging their applications with the Court, which had been brought as soon as they had considered the domestic investigations to be ineffective. According to them, the armed conflict which had been taking place in the area at the material time had led them to believe that investigative delays were inevitable. Owing to their lack of legal knowledge and financial means to hire a lawyer, and in the absence of any domestic provisions for free legal assistance for victims of enforced disappearances, they had been unable to assess the effectiveness of the investigations. It was only with the passage of time and a lack of information from the investigating authorities that they began to doubt the effectiveness of the investigations.

B. The Court's assessment

1. General principles

262. A summary of the principles concerning compliance with the six–month rule in disappearance cases may be found in Sultygov and Others v. Russia, nos. 42575/07 and 11 others, §§ 369–74, 9 October 2014.

2. Application of the principles to the present cases

263. Turning to the circumstances of the cases, the Court notes that in Ganatova v. Russia (no. 44776/09), Makhiyeva and Shoipova v. Russia (no. 5552/12), Astamirova and Others (no. 9616/12), Daniyeva (no. 25514/13), Aliyevy v. Russia (no. 26859/13) and Magomadova and Timirsultanova (no. 26874/13) the applicants lodged their complaints with the Court within less than ten years of the incidents and the initiation of the related investigations (see Varnava and Others v. Turkey [GC], nos. 16064/90 and 8 others, § 166, ECHR 2009); in the remaining cases, Tumsoyeva and Others (no. 25531/13), Akhyadova and Others (no. 73542/14), Pashayeva and Musaitova (no. 11542/15) and Taysumova (no. 50260/15) the applicants lodged their complaints with the Court within less than eleven years of the incidents and the initiation of the related investigations.

264. From the documents in the Court's possession and the applicants' submissions which have not been contested by the Government it follows that the authorities were informed of the abductions of the applicants' relatives either immediately after, or several days after the abductions had taken place (see paragraphs 14, 36, 41, 69, 90, 108, 136, 157, 184, 207 and 228 above).

265. The Court further observes that in each of the applications the authorities opened a criminal investigation in respect of abduction which was repeatedly suspended and then resumed following criticism from the investigators' superiors. In each case, the investigation was still ongoing when the application was lodged with the Court (see paragraph 5 above).

266. The Court also notes certain lulls in the criminal investigations (see in Ganatova (no. 44776/09) paragraph 24 above; in Makhiyeva and Shoipova (no. 5552/12) paragraph 57 above; in Astamirova and Others (no. 9616/12) paragraph 76 above; in Daniyeva (no. 25514/13) paragraphs 98 and 99 above; in Tumsoyeva and Others (no. 25531/13) paragraphs 114 and 116 above; in Aliyevy (no. 26859/13) paragraphs 149 and 151 above; in Magomadova and Timirsultanova (no. 26874/13) paragraph 173 above and the appended table; in Akhyadova and Others (no. 73542/14) paragraph 194 above; in Pashayeva and Musaitova (no. 11542/15) paragraph 212 above; and in Taysumova (no. 50260/15) paragraph 236 above). The most significant of them, exceeding five years, took place in the last four cases. However, in each of those cases the applicants and the other relatives of the abducted persons did not remain passive. While the investigations remained dormant, the applicants, having not always been properly informed of their suspension, regularly contacted the investigators and various State authorities and NGOs to obtain information about the progress of the investigation and to ask for assistance in the search for the missing relatives (see paragraphs 174-177, 196, 197, 213-216 and 238-240 above). Moreover, during the aforementioned periods of suspension, in Akhyadova and Others (no. 73542/14) and Pashayeva and Musaitova (no. 11542/15), upon being informed of those procedural decisions, the applicants lodged court complaints against the investigators seeking the resumption of the investigation (see paragraphs 202 and 223 above).

267. In assessing the circumstances of the cases, the Court takes into account that all of the applications were lodged within between ten and eleven years of the incidents, and that the authorities became aware of the abductions without there being undue delays. It also notes that the applicants were not duly informed of the important procedural decisions, as well as the applicants' efforts to have the dormant investigations resumed, and their overall active stance in the investigations. Therefore, it concludes that the applicants acted diligently and maintained contact with the investigators. The fact that sometimes not the applicants themselves, but also their close relatives, who were also relatives of the abducted persons, contacted the investigation cannot alter that conclusion, as the documents submitted show that the family members were in close contact and exchanged information on the proceedings.

268. Given the fact that the investigations were complex and concerned very serious allegations, the Court concludes that it was reasonable for the applicants to wait for developments that could have resolved crucial factual or legal issues (see El-Masri v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia [GC], no. 39630/09, § 142, ECHR 2012). Given the applicants' active stance in the proceedings, those periods of inactivity on the part of the authorities, when the investigation was suspended, cannot be attributed to them as their failure to comply with the six-month requirement (contrast Doshuyeva and Yusupov v. Russia (dec.), 58055/10, §§ 41-47, 31 May 2016, where the applicants had no contact with the investigators for about eight years and three months, while the investigation was seemingly dormant).

269. In the light of the above, the Court concludes that the investigations in the cases at hand, albeit sporadic, were being conducted during the periods in question, and that it is satisfied with the explanations submitted to justify the delays in initiating proceedings before the Court (see Varnava and Others, cited above, § 166). Accordingly, the applicants in each of the applications complied with the six-month rule.

V. COMPLIANCE WITH THE EXHAUSTION RULE

A. The parties' submissions

1. Government

270. The Government argued that it had been open to the applicants to seek compensation for non-pecuniary damage in civil proceedings, but only the first applicants in Tumsoyeva and Others (no. 25531/13) and Magomadova and Timirsultanova (no. 26874/13) had done so. Accordingly, the remainder of the applicants in those cases had not exhausted domestic remedies.

2. The applicants

271. The applicants stated that they had no remedies to exhaust, because neither civil actions, nor complaints against the investigators could have provided them with adequate redress. They submitted that the only effective remedy in their cases had been an effective investigation into the abduction.

B. The Court's assessment

272. As regards a civil claim for damages, the Court has already found that in the enforced disappearance cases this procedure cannot be regarded as an effective remedy (see, for example, Mutayeva and Ismailova v. Russia, no. 33539/12, § 43, 21 June 2016). Accordingly, the objection in this regard is dismissed.

273. Moreover, regard being had to the Court's conclusion in the case of Aslakhanova and Others (cited above, § 217) and to the absence of tangible progress in any of the criminal investigations into the abductions of the applicants' relatives, the Court finds that the criminal-law remedy referred to by the Government was also ineffective in the circumstances (for similar reasoning, see Ortsuyeva and Others, cited above, § 79). The Government's objection under his head is therefore dismissed.

VI. ASSESSMENT OF THE EVIDENCE AND ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FACTS

A. The parties' submissions

1. The Government

274. The Government did not contest the essential facts underlying each application. In Ganatova (no. 44776/09), Makhiyeva and Shoipova (no. 5552/12) and Astamirova and Others (no. 9616/12) they submitted that the applicants' allegations were based on assumptions, as there was no evidence proving beyond reasonable doubt that State agents had been involved in the alleged abductions, or that the applicants' relatives were dead.

2. The applicants

275. The applicants submitted that it was "beyond reasonable doubt" that the men who had taken their relatives had been State agents. In support of that assertion, they referred to evidence contained in their submissions and documents from the criminal-investigation files disclosed by the Government. They also submitted that they had each made out a prima facie case of abduction by State agents, and the essential facts underlying their complaints had not been challenged by the Government. Given the lack of any news about their relatives for a long time and the life–threatening nature of unacknowledged detention in the area at the relevant time, they asked the Court to consider their relatives dead.

B. The Court's assessment

1. General principles

276. A summary of the principles concerning the assessment of evidence and the establishment of facts in disappearance cases, and the life–threatening nature of such incidents, may be found in Sultygov and Others (cited above, §§ 393–96).

2. Application of the above principles to the present cases

277. Turning to the circumstances of the cases presently before it, and in view of all the material, including the copies of the documents from the relevant criminal case files as submitted by the parties, the Court finds that the applicants have presented prima facie cases that their relatives were abducted by State agents in the circumstances set out above. The Court notes that each of the abductions took place in areas under State control and were carried out by groups of armed men in camouflage uniforms.

278. The Court notes, in particular, that in Ganatova (no. 44776/09) the applicant was contacted by Mr S., who stated that he had been arrested by service personnel and then detained at the premises of a military base together with Mr Isa Kukayev (see paragraph 13 above); in Makhiyeva and Shoipova (no. 5552/12) several State officials stated that they had been ordered by the regional operative headquarters of the Temporary United Group Alignment in Khankala to provide support for the armed men who later abducted the applicants' relatives (see paragraphs 39 and 40 above); in Astamirova and Others (no. 9616/12) the Zavodskoy ROVD confirmed to the investigators that a special operation had been carried out in the area at the time of the abduction (see paragraph 72 above); in Daniyeva (no. 25514/13) and Tumsoyeva and Others (no. 25531/13) the applicants alleged that the perpetrators had used APCs to abduct their relatives (see paragraphs 89 and 107 above); in Aliyevy (no. 26859/13) the first applicant had recognised one of the perpetrators as an officer of the special-purpose militia units (see paragraph 132 above); in Magomadova and Timirsultanova (no. 26874/13) the fact that the perpetrators had been State agents was established by the domestic courts (see paragraph 180 above); in Akhyadova and Others (no. 73542/14) in two days after the abduction the perpetrators returned to the applicant's home in an APC (see paragraph 183 above); in Pashayeva and Musaitova (no. 11542/15) the Department of the Interior office in Vedeno district informed the investigators that the applicants' relative had been arrested by service personnel from the Vostok battalion (see paragraph 210 above); lastly, in Taysumova (no. 50260/15), the abductors were of Slavic appearance, spoke unaccented Russian and used a bus which could not have gone unnoticed through checkpoints. Their actions, including the break-in and the subsequent identity check, followed a pattern of enforced disappearances perpetrated in the area by State agents at the material time (see paragraph 226 above; and compare Petimat Ismailova and Others v. Russia, nos. 25088/11 and 11 others, §§ 13, 70, 91, 113 and 272, 18 September 2014, and Kukurkhoyeva and Others v. Russia [Committee], §§ 23-26, 90-92, 22 January 2019).

279. The Court notes that in the cases at hand, the investigating authorities accepted as fact the primary versions of events presented by the applicants, and took steps to verify whether State agents had indeed been involved in the incidents by sending information requests to the relevant authorities.

280. In their submissions before the Court, the Government have failed to provide a satisfactory and convincing explanation for the events in question. They have therefore failed to discharge their burden of proof.

281. Bearing in mind the general principles enumerated above and the circumstances of the cases, the Court finds that the applicants' relatives were taken into custody by State agents during special operations. Given the lack of any news about Mr Isa Kukayev, Mr Rasmbek Saydulayev, Mr Lom-Ali Shoipov, Mr Adam Novruzov, Mr Umar Dzhabrailov, Mr Yusup Khamzatov, Mr Rustam Aliyev, Mr Khizir Magomadov, Mr Muslim Abzailov, Ms Bariyat Akhyadova, Mr Salambek Taysumov and Mr Adam Taysumov since their detention, and the life–threatening nature of such detention, they may be presumed dead following their unacknowledged detention.

VII. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 2 OF THE CONVENTION

282. The applicants complained, under Article 2 of the Convention, that their relatives had disappeared after being detained by State agents, and that the domestic authorities had failed to carry out effective investigations into the matter. Article 2 reads as follows:

"1. Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law ..."

A. The parties' submissions

283. In Daniyeva (no. 25514/13) the Government contended that Article 2 of the Convention was inapplicable to the applicants' complaints of abductions, which should be examined under Article 5 of the Convention because there was no evidence of the applicants' relatives' deaths. To this end, they referred to the case of Kurt v. Turkey (25 May 1998, §§ 101–09, Reports 1998–III).

284. In Ganatova (no. 44776/09), Makhiyeva and Shoipova (no. 5552/12) and Astamirova and Others (no. 9616/12) the Government submitted that the applicants' complaints should be dismissed because they had failed to substantiate their allegations. Furthermore, the Government submitted that the domestic investigations had obtained no evidence that the applicants' relatives had been held under State control or that they had been killed.

285. In Ganatova (no. 44776/09) and Daniyeva (no. 25514/13) the Government submitted that the mere fact that the investigations had not produced any specific results, or had given only limited ones, did not mean that they had been ineffective. The Government claimed that all necessary steps had been taken to comply with the procedural obligation under Article 2 of the Convention.

286. The applicants maintained their complaints, alleging that their relatives had been abducted and intentionally deprived of their lives in circumstances that violated Article 2 of the Convention. They further argued that the investigations into the incidents had fallen short of the standards set out in the Convention and national legislation.

B. The Court's assessment

1. Admissibility

287. In the light of the parties' submissions, the Court considers that the complaints raise serious issues of fact and law under the Convention, the determination of which requires an examination of the merits. The complaints under Article 2 of the Convention must therefore be declared admissible.

2. Merits

(a) Alleged violation of the right to life of the applicants' relatives

288. The Court observes that it is undisputed by the parties that the whereabouts of the applicants' relatives remained unaccounted for from the time of their abduction to the lodging of the applications with the Court. The question arises whether, as the Government submit, Article 2 of the Convention is applicable to the applicants' situations.

289. The Court has already examined the Government's objection in similar cases concerning alleged abductions by State agents and dismissed it (see, for example, Sultygov and Others, cited above, §§ 441-42, and Dzhabrailov and Others v. Russia, nos. 8620/09 and 8 others, §§ 317-18, 27 February 2014), Accordingly, the Court finds that Article 2 of the Convention applies and that the Government's objection in this regard should be rejected.

290. Based on the above, and noting that it has already been found that in all of the applications under examination the applicants' relatives may be presumed dead following their unacknowledged detention by State agents (see paragraph 281 above), in the absence of any justification put forward by the Government, the Court finds that the deaths of the applicants' relatives can be attributed to the State and that there has been a violation of the substantive aspect of Article 2 of the Convention in respect of Mr Isa Kukayev, Mr Rasmbek Saydulayev, Mr Lom-Ali Shoipov, Mr Adam Novruzov, Mr Umar Dzhabrailov, Mr Yusup Khamzatov, Mr Rustam Aliyev, Mr Khizir Magomadov, Mr Muslim Abzailov, Ms Bariyat Akhyadova, Mr Salambek Taysumov and Mr Adam Taysumov.

(b) Alleged inadequacy of the investigations into the abductions

291. The Court has already found that a criminal investigation does not constitute an effective remedy in respect of disappearances, particularly those which occurred in Chechnya and Ingushetia between 1999 and 2006, and that such a situation constitutes a systemic problem under the Convention (see Aslakhanova and Others, cited above, §§ 216-21, 18 December 2012). In the case at hand, as in many previous similar cases reviewed by the Court, the investigations have been ongoing for many years without bringing about any significant developments as regards the identities of the perpetrators or the fate of the applicants' missing relatives.

292. The Court observes that each set of criminal proceedings has been plagued by a combination of defects similar to those enumerated in the Aslakhanova and Others judgment (cited above, §§ 123–25). Each was subjected to several decisions to suspend the investigation, followed by periods of inactivity, which further diminished the prospects of solving the crimes. No timely and thorough measures were taken to identify and question the service personnel who could have participated in the abductions.

293. In the light of the foregoing, the Court finds that the authorities failed to carry out effective criminal investigations into the circumstances of the disappearances and deaths of Mr Isa Kukayev, Mr Rasmbek Saydulayev, Mr Lom-Ali Shoipov, Mr Adam Novruzov, Mr Umar Dzhabrailov, Mr Yusup Khamzatov, Mr Rustam Aliyev, Mr Khizir Magomadov, Mr Muslim Abzailov, Ms Bariyat Akhyadova, Mr Salambek Taysumov and Mr Adam Taysumov. Accordingly, there has been a violation of the procedural aspect of Article 2 of the Convention.

VIII. ALLEGED VIOLATIONS OF ARTICLES 3, 5 AND 13 OF THE CONVENTION

294. All the applicants, save for those in Ganatova (no. 44776/09) and Astamirova and Others (no. 9616/12), complained of a violation of Article 3 of the Convention on account of their mental suffering caused by the disappearance of their relatives.

295. All the applicants further complained of a violation of Article 5 of the Convention on account of the unlawfulness of their relatives' detention. Lastly, the applicants argued that, contrary to Article 13 of the Convention, they had no effective domestic remedies against the alleged violation of Article 2 of the Convention.

296. In Akhyadova and Others (no. 73542/14) and Pashayeva and Musaitova (no. 11542/15), the applicants also alleged a lack of effective domestic remedies in respect of their complaints under Article 5 of the Convention.

297. The Articles relied on by the applicants read, in so far as relevant, as follows:

Article 3

"No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Article 5

"1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:

...

(c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after having done so;

...

2. Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a language which he understands, of the reasons for his arrest and of any charge against him.

3. Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 (c) of this Article shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.

4. Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful.

5. Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention in contravention of the provisions of this Article shall have an enforceable right to compensation."

Article 13

"Everyone whose rights and freedoms as set forth in [the] Convention are violated shall have an effective remedy before a national authority notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity."

A. The parties' submissions

298. The Government contested the applicants' claims. In particular, in Daniyeva (no. 25514/13) they stated that the applicant's mental suffering had not reached the minimum level of severity to fall within the scope of Article 3 of the Convention. In Ganatova (no. 44776/09) they submitted that there had been no credible evidence that the applicant's son had been detained by State agents in breach of Article 5 of the Convention. In Ganatova (no. 44776/09) and Daniyeva (no. 25514/13) they averred that domestic legislation, including Articles 124 and 125 of the Russian Code of Criminal Procedure, had provided the applicants with effective remedies for their complaints as required by Article 13 of the Convention. In Ganatova (no. 44776/09), Tumsoyeva and Others (no. 25531/13) and Magomadova and Timirsultanova (no. 26874/13) the Government alleged that the available civil remedies would have been effective.

B. The Court's assessment

1. Admissibility

299. The Court notes that these complaints are not manifestly ill–founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention. It further notes that they are not inadmissible on any other grounds. They must therefore be declared admissible.

2. Merits

300. On many occasions the Court has found that a situation of enforced disappearance gives rise to a violation of Article 3 of the Convention in respect of the close relatives of a victim (see Aslakhanova and Others, cited above, § 133, and Dzhabrailov and Others, cited above, §§ 326-27).

301. Given the above findings regarding the State's responsibility for the abductions of the applicants' relatives and the failure to carry out meaningful investigations into the incidents (see paragraphs 293 above), the Court finds that the applicants in Makhiyeva and Shoipova (no. 5552/12), Daniyeva (no. 25514/13), Tumsoyeva and Others (no. 25531/13), Aliyevy (no. 26859/13), Magomadova and Timirsultanova (no. 26874/13), Akhyadova and Others (no. 73542/14), Pashayeva and Musaitova (no. 11542/15) and Taysumova (no. 50260/15) must be considered victims of a violation of Article 3 of the Convention on account of the distress and anguish they suffered, and continue to suffer, as a result of both their inability to ascertain the fate of their missing family members and the manner in which their complaints have been dealt with.

302. The Court has found on a number of occasions that unacknowledged detention is a complete negation of the guarantees contained in Article 5 of the Convention and discloses a particularly grave violation of its provisions (see Çiçek v. Turkey, no. 25704/94, § 164, 27 February 2001, and Luluyev and Others v. Russia, no. 69480/01, § 122, ECHR 2006-XIII (extracts)). The Court furthermore confirms that since it has been established that the applicants' relatives were detained by State agents, apparently in the absence of any legal grounds or acknowledgement of such detention, this constitutes a particularly grave violation of the right to liberty and security of persons enshrined in Article 5 of the Convention in respect of the applicants' relatives.

303. The Court reiterates its findings regarding the general ineffectiveness of criminal investigations in cases such as those under examination. In the absence of the results of a criminal investigation, any other possible remedy, including a civil action, becomes inaccessible in practice.

304. In the light of the above, and taking into account the scope of the applicants' complaints, the Court finds that the applicants in all cases did not have at their disposal an effective domestic remedy for their grievances under Article 2, in breach of Article 13 of the Convention.

305. As regards the alleged breach of Article 13, read in conjunction with Article 5 of the Convention, as submitted by the applicants in Akhyadova and Others (no. 73542/14) and Pashayeva and Musaitova (no. 11542/15), the Court has already stated in similar cases that no separate issue arises in respect of Article 13, read in conjunction with Article 5 of the Convention (see Zhebrailova and Others v. Russia, no. 40166/07, § 84, 26 March 2015, and Aliyev and Gadzhiyeva v. Russia, no. 11059/12, § 110, 12 July 2016).

IX. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 1 OF PROTOCOL NO. 1 TO THE CONVENTION

306. The applicants in Astamirova and Others (no. 9616/12) complained that the abductors had taken their jewellery and had therefore deprived them of their property in violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention, which provides, in particular:

"Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law. ..."

307. The Government did not comment on the issue.

308. The applicants reiterated their complaint.

A. Admissibility

309. The Court notes that according to the submissions of the second and third applicants made to the investigators, the stolen jewellery belonged to the second applicant (see paragraph 75 above). Given that none of the applicants contest that fact and that there is nothing in the documents submitted casting doubt on the veracity of their statements, the Court concludes that the second applicant was the owner of the stolen items and therefore only she was the victim of the alleged violation.

310. Accordingly, the complaints by the first and third applicants are incompatible ratione personae within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention and must be rejected, pursuant to Article 35 § 4 of the Convention.

311. Further, as regards the second applicant, the Court finds that her complaint is not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention. It further notes that it is not inadmissible on any other grounds. It must therefore be declared admissible.

B. Merits

312. The Court notes that the Government neither disputed the amount or value of the jewellery taken by the abductors nor the second applicants' title to that property. Considering that the Court has already found that the men who abducted the applicant's relative on 14 July 2003 were State service personnel, it finds that the loss of the second applicant's property was imputable to the respondent State. Accordingly, there was an interference with the second applicant's right to protection of property (see Orlov and Others v. Russia, no. 5632/10, § 117, 14 March 2017).

313. In the absence of any justification on the part of the State for its agents' actions in that regard, the Court finds that there has been a violation of the second applicant's right to protection of property, as guaranteed by Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention.

X. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION

314. Article 41 of the Convention provides:

"If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party."

A. Damage

1. Pecuniary damage

315. The applicants in all of the cases, save for Tumsoyeva (no. 25531/13), claimed compensation for loss of financial support from the breadwinners in their families. The amounts of compensation sought are indicated in the appended table.

316. The applicant in Ganatova (no. 44776/09) referred to the alleged income of her abducted son, who had been a welder, and to her expenses in respect of bringing up his daughter.

317. The applicants in Astamirova and Others (no. 9616/12) made their calculation referring to the expected income of their missing relatives. They also sought compensation for the jewellery stolen from them by the State agents. The amount of compensation sought was based on the estimated value of the stolen items (EUR 412).

318. The first applicant and the second applicant in Makhiyeva and Shoipova (no. 5552/12) submitted their calculations based on the average salary and the minimum subsistence level respectively.

319. The applicants in Daniyeva (no. 25514/13), Akhyadova and Others (no. 73542/14) and Pashayeva and Musaitova (no. 11542/15) made their calculations on the basis of the minimum salary in Russia.

320. The applicants in Aliyevy (no. 26859/13), Magomadova and Timirsultanova (no. 26874/13) and Taysumova (no. 50260/15) referred to the Court's case-law and the minimum subsistence level.

321. The Government claimed that in Ganatova (no. 44776/09), Daniyeva (no. 25514/13), Aliyevy (no. 26859/13), Magomadova and Timirsultanova (no. 26874/13), Akhyadova and Others (no. 73542/14) and Pashayeva and Musaitova (no. 11542/15) the applicants had failed to provide any evidence of their missing relatives' employment. In respect of Ganatova (no. 44776/09) the Government stated that the applicant could obtain compensation through civil proceedings at the domestic level. In Aliyevy (no. 26859/13), Magomadova and Timirsultanova (no. 26874/13), Akhyadova and Others (no. 73542/14) and Pashayeva and Musaitova (no. 11542/15) the Government also mentioned that it remained open for the applicants to apply for social benefits for the loss of the breadwinners in their families. In Taysumova (no. 50260/15) the Government pointed out that the applicant had failed to substantiate her claim that her missing brother had been the breadwinner or to provide an estimate of his income.

322. In the remainder of the cases, the Government left the issue to the Court's discretion.

2. Non-pecuniary damage

323. The amounts claimed by the applicants in respect of non-pecuniary damage are indicated in the appended table.

324. The Government left the issue to the Court's discretion in all of the cases, save for Ganatova (no. 44776/09) and Taysumova (no. 50260/15). In those cases, the Government claimed that the compensation sought was excessive.

B. Costs and expenses

325. The amounts claimed by the applicants are indicated in the appended table. In all cases save for Ganatova (no. 44776/09) they asked for the awards to be transferred into the bank accounts of their representatives.

326. The Government stated that in Ganatova (no. 44776/09) and Daniyeva (no. 25514/13) the applicant's claims for costs and expenses were unsubstantiated and ill-founded. In Aliyevy (no. 26859/13), Magomadova and Timirsultanova (no. 26874/13), Akhyadova and Others (no. 73542/14) and Pashayeva and Musaitova (no. 11542/15) the Government noted that the costs and expenses were excessive and unnecessary considering the simplicity of the cases and the relevant experience of the applicants' representatives.

327. In the rest of the cases, they left the issue to the Court's discretion.

C. The Court's assessment

328. The Court reiterates that there must be a clear causal connection between the damage claimed by applicants and the violation of the Convention, and that this may, where appropriate, include compensation in respect of loss of earnings. The Court further finds that loss of earnings applies to close relatives of disappeared persons, including spouses, elderly parents and minor children (see, among other authorities, Imakayeva v. Russia, no. 7615/02, § 213, ECHR 2006–XIII (extracts)).

329. Wherever the Court finds a violation of the Convention, it may accept that the applicants have suffered non-pecuniary damage which cannot be compensated for solely by the finding of a violation, and make a financial award.

330. As to costs and expenses, the Court has to establish whether they were actually incurred and whether they were necessary and reasonable as to quantum (see McCann and Others v. the United Kingdom, 27 September 1995, § 220, Series A no. 324).

331. Having regard to the conclusions and principles set out above, the principle of ne ultra petitum ("not beyond the request" or "not beyond the scope of the dispute"), as well as the parties' submissions, and the sums awarded to the applicants at the domestic level (for a similar approach see Nikitin and Others v. Estonia, nos. 23226/16 and 6 others, § 231, 29 January 2019, and Grigoryev and Igamberdiyeva v. Russia [CTE], no. 10970/12, § 32, 12 February 2019), the Court awards the applicants the amounts detailed in the appended table, plus any tax that may be chargeable to them on those amounts. The awards in respect of costs and expenses in respect of all cases save for Ganatova (no. 44776/09) are to be paid into the representatives' bank accounts, as indicated by the applicants. In Ganatova (no. 44776/09) the award is to be paid into the bank account indicated by the applicant.

D. Default interest

332. The Court considers it appropriate that the default interest rate should be based on the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank, to which should be added three percentage points.

Sentencja

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT, UNANIMOUSLY,

1. Decides to join the applications;

2. Declares the complaints under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention raised by the first and third applicants in Astamirova and Others (no. 9616/12) inadmissible and the remainder of the applications admissible;

3. Holds that there has been a substantive violation of Article 2 of the Convention in respect of the applicants' relatives - Mr Isa Kukayev, Mr Rasmbek Saydulayev, Mr Lom-Ali Shoipov, Mr Adam Novruzov, Mr Umar Dzhabrailov, Mr Yusup Khamzatov, Mr Rustam Aliyev, Mr Khizir Magomadov, Mr Muslim Abzailov, Ms Bariyat Akhyadova, Mr Salambek Taysumov and Mr Adam Taysumov;

4. Holds that there has been a procedural violation of Article 2 of the Convention on account of the failure to effectively investigate the disappearance of the applicants' relatives;

5. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention in respect of the applicants in Makhiyeva and Shoipova v. Russia (no. 5552/12), Daniyeva v. Russia (no. 25514/13), Tumsoyeva andOthers v. Russia (no. 25531/13), Aliyevy v. Russia (no. 26859/13), Magomadova and Timirsultanova v. Russia (no. 26874/13), Akhyadova and Others v. Russia (no. 73542/14), Pashayeva and Musaitova v. Russia (no. 11542/15) and Taysumova v. Russia (no. 50260/15), on account of their mental suffering caused by their relatives' disappearance and the authorities' response to their suffering;

6. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 5 of the Convention in respect of the applicants' relatives, on account of their unlawful detention;

7. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 13 of the Convention in conjunction with Article 2 of the Convention;

8. Holds that no separate issue arises under Article 13 of the Convention in conjunction with Article 5 of the Convention in Akhyadova and Others v. Russia (no. 73542/14) and Pashayeva and Musaitova v. Russia (no. 11542/15);

9. Holds that there has been a violation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention in respect of the second applicant in Astamirova and Others v. Russia (no. 9616/12);

10. Holds

(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicants, within three months, the amounts indicated in the appended table, plus any tax that may be chargeable to the applicants, to be converted into the currency of the respondent State at the rate applicable at the date of settlement. The awards in respect of costs and expenses in respect of all cases save for Ganatova (no. 44776/09) are to be paid into the representatives' bank accounts, as indicated by the applicants. In Ganatova (no. 44776/09) the award is to be paid into the bank account indicated by the applicant;

(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amounts at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;

11. Dismisses the remainder of the applicants' claims for just satisfaction.

Done in English, and notified in writing on 24 September 2019, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.

Stephen Phillips

Georgios A. Serghides

Registrar

President

Appendix

No.

Application no. and date of introduction

Applicant

Date of birth

Place of residence

Kinship with the abducted person(s)

Abducted person(s)

Represented by

Pecuniary damage

Non-pecuniary damage

Costs and expenses

1.

44776/09

17/07/2009

Ms Malisat GANATOVA

10/05/1940

Grozny, Chechnya

mother

Mr Isa KUKAYEV

initially by Mr L. Tsugaev and Mr U. Khasiyev,

subsequently by

Mr T. Shamsudinov

Sought by the applicant:

EUR 16,000

EUR 60,000

EUR 6,046

Awarded by the Court:

EUR 8,000 (eight thousand euros) to the applicant

EUR 60,000 (sixty thousand euros) to the applicant

EUR 850 (eight hundred and fifty euros)

2.

5552/12

19/01/2012

(1) Ms Asmart MAKHIYEVA 05/11/1957

Achkhoy-Martan, Chechnya

mother of Mr Rasmbek SAYDULAYEV

(2) Ms Galina SHOIPOVA

06/03/1965

Achkhoy-Martan, Chechnya

mother of Mr Lom-Ali SHOIPOV

(1) Mr Rasmbek SAYDULAYEV

(2) Mr Lom-Ali

(also spelled as Lomali) SHOIPOV

Mr D. Itslayev

Sought by the applicants:

EUR 36,480 to the first applicant and EUR 67,600 to the second applicant

EUR 500,000 to each of the applicants

EUR 4,040

Awarded by the Court:

EUR 12,000 (twelve thousand euros) to each of the applicants

EUR 80,000 (eighty thousand euros) to each of the applicants

EUR 2,000 (two thousand euros)

3.

9616/12

26/01/2012

1) Ms Zinaida ASTAMIROVA 01/07/1941

Grozny, Chechnya

mother

2) Ms Alisa NOVRUZOVA (also spelled as NAVRUZOVA)

31/07/1971

Grozny, Chechnya

sister

3) Ms Elza NOVRUZOVA (also spelled as NAVRUZOVA) 26/04/1975

Grozny, Chechnya

sister

Mr Adam NOVRUZOV

Mr T. Shamsudinov

Sought by the applicants:

EUR 20,000 to the first applicant for the loss of the breadwinner; EUR 412 to the applicants jointly for the stolen jewellery

EUR 100,000 to the applicants jointly

EUR 2,132

Awarded by the Court:

EUR 10,000 (ten thousand euros) to the first applicant;

EUR 412 (four hundred and twelve euros) to the second applicant

EUR 80,000 (eighty thousand euros) to the applicants jointly

EUR 850 (eight hundred and fifty euros)

4.

25514/13

18/03/2013

Ms Zukhra

DANIYEVA

19/02/1966

Shaami-Yurt, Chechnya

wife

Mr Umar

DZHABRAILOV

Mr S. Mushayev

Sought by the applicant:

EUR 30,000

EUR 60,000

EUR 9,410

Awarded by the Court:

EUR 12,000 (twelve thousand euros)

EUR 60,000 (sixty thousand euros)

EUR 850 (eight hundred and fifty euros)

5.

25531/13

18/03/2013

(1) Ms Zura TUMSOYEVA

12/11/1956

Zakan-Yurt, Chechnya

wife

(2) Mr Anzor

YUSUPOV

03/06/1979

Zakan-Yurt, Chechnya

son

(3) Mr Rizvan

YUSUPOV

05/09/1987

Zakan-Yurt, Chechnya

son

Mr Yusup KHAMZATOV

Mr S. Mushayev

Sought by the applicants:

-

not less than EUR 60,000 to the applicants jointly

EUR 8,900

Awarded by the Court:

-

EUR 80,000 (eighty thousand euros) to the applicants jointly

EUR 850 (eight hundred and fifty euros)

6.

26859/13

03/04/2013

(1) Mr Badrudi

ALIYEV

26/04/1963

Belgatoy, Chechnya

father

(2) Ms Yakhita

ALIYEVA

12/06/1964

Belgatoy, Chechnya

mother

Mr Rustam ALIYEV

Mr T. Shamsudinov

Sought by the applicants:

EUR 20,000 to the applicants jointly

EUR 100,000 to the applicants jointly

EUR 2,276

Awarded by the Court:

EUR 10,000 (ten thousand euros) to the applicants jointly

EUR 80,000 (eighty thousand euros) to the applicants jointly

EUR 850 (eight hundred and fifty euros)

7.

26874/13

03/04/2013

(1) Ms Maryam

MAGOMADOVA

30/05/1973

Belgatoy, Chechnya

wife of Mr Khizir MAGOMADOV

(2) Ms Milana

TIMIRSULTANOVA

13/06/1974

Grozny, Chechnya

wife of Mr Muslim ABZAILOV

(1) Mr Khizir MAGOMADOV

(2) Mr Muslim ABZAILOV

Mr T. Shamsudinov

Sought by the applicants:

EUR 10,000 to each of the applicants

EUR 100,000 to each of the applicants

EUR 2,211

Awarded by the Court:

EUR 5,000 (five thousand euros) to each of the applicants

EUR 56,450 (fifty six thousand and four hundred fifty euros) to the first applicant

EUR 80,000 (eighty thousand euros) to the second applicant

EUR 850 (eight hundred and fifty euros)

8.

73542/14

15/11/2014

(1) Ms Dagma

(also spelled as Dagman) AKHYADOVA

22/07/1954

Vedeno, Chechnya

mother

(2) Ms Khava AKHYADOVA

07/07/1976

Vedeno, Chechnya

sister

(3) Ms Madina AKHYADOVA

08/11/1983

Vedeno, Chechnya

sister

(4) Ms Khalimat AKHYADOVA

06/10/1991

Vedeno, Chechnya

sister

(5) Mr Adam AKHYADOV

25/04/1994

Vedeno, Chechnya

brother

(6) Ms Eset SABIROVA

03/10/2001

Vedeno, Chechnya

daughter

(7) Ms Ramnat SABIROVA

25/09/2002

Vedeno, Chechnya

daughter

Ms Bariyat (also spelled as Bariya and also known as Makka) AKHYADOVA

MATERI CHECHNI

Sought by the applicants:

EUR 57,672 to the sixth and the seventh applicants jointly

EUR 80,000 to the applicants jointly

EUR 9,593

Awarded by the Court:

EUR 24,000 (twenty four thousand euros) to the sixth and seventh applicants jointly

EUR 80,000 (eighty thousand euros) to the applicants jointly

EUR 1,000 (one thousand euros)

9.

11542/15

19/02/2015

(1) Ms Patimat

(also spelled as Petimat)

PASHAYEVA

07/12/1954

Vedeno, Chechnya

mother

(2) Ms Madina MUSAITOVA

28/02/1979

Grozny, Chechnya

cousin

Mr Salambek TAYSUMOV

MATERI CHECHNI

Sought by the applicants:

EUR 28,893 to the first applicant

EUR 80,000 to the applicants jointly

EUR 9,096

Awarded by the Court:

EUR 10,000 (ten thousand euros) to the first applicant

EUR 80,000 (eighty thousand euros) to the applicants jointly

EUR 1,000 (one thousand euros)

10.

50260/15

15/09/2015

Ms Milana

TAYSUMOVA

25/02/1987

Shali, Chechnya

sister

Mr Adam TAYSUMOV

Mr T. Shamsudinov

Sought by the applicant:

EUR 10,000

EUR 90,000

EUR 2,571

Awarded by the Court:

EUR 2,000 (two thousand euros)

EUR 80,000 (eighty thousand euros)

EUR 850 (eight hundred and fifty euros)