Russian Authorities Should Closely Monitor the Court Proceedings for the Murder of Israilov in Vienna

12/05/2010
Press release
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On 15 March 2010, the Vienna counterterrorism department, which has carried out a criminal investigation into the murder of Chechen refugee Umar Israilov, submitted its final 214-pages report on the results of the investigation to the Vienna public prosecutor’s office. The investigation names two close aides of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, Shaa Turlayev and Magomed Daudov and the President himself as being suspected of having ordered the killing or a kidnapping, which would possibly result in the death of the victim.

Umar Israilov, an applicant to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), was murdered on 13 January 2009 in the centre of Vienna. In his application to ECHR, Israilov accused the President of Chechnya of illegally detaining and torturing him in 2003. Israilov, a former Chechen fighter, maintained that after he had been arrested by officers of the Chechen law enforcement agencies, Kadyrov personally tortured him with electric shocks before offering him an amnesty conditional upon his joining the ranks of Kadyrov’s security service. In his petition, Israilov described in detail the system of violence and secret prisons which existed in the Chechen Republic with the consent of and controlled by the incumbent President of Chechnya. As recorded in a witness report published by The New York Times, six months before his murder, an emissary of Kadyrov came to see Israilov in Vienna to lure him out of Austria, and when he saw that this was in vain, he delivered threats from the leader of Chechnya and demanded that he withdraw his petition from the European Court.
Our organisations will closely follow the court proceedings in Vienna and inform the public about the results of the court inquest.
We call upon the leadership of the Russian Federation to likewise carefully follow the court proceedings for the murder of the applicant to the European Court Umar Israilov, and closely study the evidence on the possible involvement of Russian officials in this crime to be presented in court.

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Memorial Human Rights Centre
Civil Rights Defenders
Norwegian Helsinki Committee
People in Need

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