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Adzhigitova and Others v. Russia, Nos. 40165/07, 2593/08, ECtHR (Third Section), 22 June 2021

Type Judgment
Case number 40165/07, 2593/08


Unlawful detention and ill-treatment of Avars by military servicemen of Chechen origin and failure of the authorities to investigate possible motive of ethnic hatred.

Normative references

Art. 8 ECHR
Art. 14 ECHR
Art. 2 ECHR
Art. 3 ECHR


1. Searches and arrests, when carried out by military authorities in a generalised manner and not directed only at a specific ethnic group, do not constitute a violation of Article 14 in conjunction with Articles 2 and 8 ECHR. Therefore, the Court could not conclude that the searches were the result of different treatment of the villagers because of their ethnicity.

2. As regards the State's procedural obligation under Article 14 ECHR, in their complaints to the investigating authorities, several applicants had explicitly mentioned racist insults that had allegedly been directed at them by military personnel at the time of their detention and ill-treatment. This had constituted sufficient grounds for the State's procedural obligation to ensure an effective investigation of the alleged ethnic hatred. However, no thorough examination of possible racial motivations was undertaken. As a result, the motive of hatred had not been included in the legal classification of crimes.
(The applicants, Avars, complained that they had been detained and ill-treated by a battalion of the Russian army, consisting mostly of ethnic Chechen soldiers, during a search, following clashes with unidentified armed groups).