Public Policy Center, University of Nebraska


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Published by Abdel-Monem in Cornell International Law Journal (2006) 39. Copyright 2006, Cornell University.


In Khashiyev & Akayeva v. Russia, the European Court of Human Rights unanimously found Russia in violation of Article 2-right to lifeand Article 3-prohibition of torture-of the European Convention on Human Rights ("the Convention") 2 for its military operations in the Republic of Chechnya. The Court also found Russia in violation of Article 13- right to an effective remedy-by a vote of five to two. Khashiyev and Akayeva were the first of six claims filed with the Court in early 2000 against Russia for alleged violations of the Convention in its war against Chechen nationalists.

The plaintiffs in Khashiyev were nationals of the Russian Federation living in Grozny. In the fall of 1999, elements of the Russian army attacked and gradually encircled Grozny in an attempt to engage Chechen separatist forces, suffering significant casualties in the process. By January 20, 2000, after fierce fighting, the Russian military had gained control of the city. In early February of 2000, Western human rights organizations began issuing reports alleging that Russian forces had engaged in summary executions of civilians in Grozny and other areas. Plaintiffs Khashiyev and Akayeva both claimed that during this period of time, Russian soldiers tortured and killed their relatives. 9 They later appealed to the European Court of Human Rights for relief. On December 19, 2002, the Court joined their Article 2, 3, and 13 claims and admitted the case for review.

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