23 September 2003, 14:37

European Court is to consider the merits of case of 13 Chechens

The European Court of Human Rights has declared admissible the application lodged against the governments of Georgia and Russia by 13 Chechens who were, in August 2002, arrested carrying arms by the Georgian border police at the Russian-Georgian border. The Strasbourg-based Court will send its teams to Russia and Georgia on fact-finding missions.

Upon their arrest, the applicants gave their names as Abdul-Vakhab Shamayev, Ruslan Mirjoev, Adlan Usmanov, Islam Khashiyev, Khamzat Isayev, Ruslan Tepsayev, Ruslan Baimurzayev, Khusein Khadjiev, Husein Aziyev, Fisuli Baisarov, Rizvan Visitov, Aslan Khanoyev and Adlan Adayev. They were charged with illegally crossing the state border and unlawfully possessing firearms. Soon afterwards the Tbilisi district court ordered their detention for three months pending trial. The Russian authorities immediately requested the Georgian authorities to extradite the detainees submitting that they were terrorist rebels who had taken part in the conflict in Chechnya.

But the Chechens lodged a complaint to the European Court arguing their extradition to Russia would expose them to a genuine risk of death or torture, in breach of articles 2 (right to life) and 3 (right not to be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

On October 4 of the last year, the Georgian prosecutor general's office allowed extradition of five Chechens, to wit, Shamayev, Adayev, Aziyev, Visitov and Khadjiev. The other eight Chechens, who appeared to have given false names upon their arrest, have not been extradited to Russia. Their cases were sent to Georgia's courts.

Source: Prima News Agency

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