Fear over the Safety of Mr Umarpashaev Remains as Investigation Proceeds

Chairwoman Hautala remains concerned over the safety of Mr Islam Umarpashaev and his family as investigation into his four-month incommunicado detention and ill-treatment is proceeding. Retaliation against him remains a great risk, according to Amnesty International. [:]Ms Hautala has followed the case of Mr Umarpashaev closely, repeatedly urging Russia to carry out effective investigation to his case. Severe alarm was raised, in particular, due to the reported torture of Mr. Umarpashaev during the detention.

Mr Umarpashaev was taken from his home in Grozny, Chechnya, on 11th of December, 2009. The ineffectiveness of the investigations grew quickly into a matter of great concern and prompted the family of Mr Umarpashaev to file a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in January 2010. Subsequently, he and his family begun to receive threats pressuring for the withdrawal of the complaint. It is understood that his family has since left Chechnya due to security concerns.

Reports over torture were confirmed upon the release of Mr Umarpashaev on 2nd of April, 2010.

Investigations have proceeded recently with some responsible individuals now identified. However, as the fears for the safety of Mr Umarpashaev at the same time increased, he was granted a witness protection on 30th of July. He has, nevertheless, continued to receive threats pressuring him to withdraw the complaint.

Chairwoman recalls the legal obligations of the Russian authorities under European Convention of Human Rights to fully investigate the case. She welcomes the progress but underlines the importance of ensuring security of those involved.