European Court of Human Rights awards Zarema Musaeva €52,000 for her ‘revenge’ jailing — Novaya Gazeta Europe

European Court of Human Rights awards Zarema Musaeva €52,000 for her ‘revenge’ jailing

Zarema Musaeva. Photo: SOTAvision

Zarema Musaeva. Photo: SOTAvision

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has awarded €52,000 to the mother of two prominent Chechen human rights activists who was sentenced to five years in prison “as a form of revenge” for her sons’ criticism of Chechen Head Ramzan Kadyrov, Crew Against Torture announced on Telegram on Tuesday.

The ECHR ruled that the Russian authorities had violated the European Convention on Human Rights numerous times in its prosecution of Zarema Musaeva, who, it ruled, had been arbitrarily detained in an act of retaliation against her family, subjected to “inhumane and degrading treatment” and denied a fair trial.

The ruling detailed how Chechen police abducted Musaeva from her home in the central Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod “barefoot, without identity papers and without her medication” and took her to the Chechen capital Grozny. Musaeva was left without food or medication for her diabetes, was physically and verbally abused by law enforcement officers, and was denied access to proper toilet facilities, the ruling added.

The court found that Musaeva’s prosecution for fraud and assaulting a police officer was a form of revenge against her relatives who have criticised Chechnya’s leadership. Musaeva’s sons, Abubakar and Ibrahim Yangulbaev are well-known for their public criticism of Kadyrov.

The ruling also ordered the Russian government to pay €6,500 to both Musaeva’s husband and daughter, Sayda Yangulbaev and Aliya Yangulbaeva, for failing to take preventative measures against a “real and immediate risk” to their lives and for using physical force against them. The court also found that the Chechen authorities had repeatedly made public threats against the family.

Concerns have been raised multiple times over Musaeva’s declining health while imprisoned. In March and April, Musaeva was hospitalised and her family have reported that she is no longer able to walk and can no longer see, having developed cataracts. In December 2023, Musaeva’s defence lawyers demanded that the authorities release Musaeva on health grounds.

The damages awarded to Musaeva and her family are nominal, however, as in June 2022, Vladimir Putin signed legislation into law declaring Russia’s non-compliance with ECHR rulings issued after 15 March 2022.

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