ICCPR Case Digest
View Adopted: 2019.07.05
Ilkhom Ismanov and Zarina Nazhmutdinova v. Tajikistan
Arbitrary arrest and detention, subject to torture in Tajikistan, violation of the authors rights under article 7
- Access to court
- Arbitrary arrest
- Arbitrary detention
- Conditions of detention
- Fair trial
- Prompt and impartial investigation
- Torture / ill-treatment
- Article 14.1
- Article 14.3 (b)
- Article 14.3 (g)
- Article 2.3
- Article 7
- Article 9.1
- Article 9.2
- Article 9.3
- Article 9.4
The authors are two nationals of Tajikistan who claimed that the state party violated their rights under article 7, as well as in conjunction with articles 2 (3), 9 (1)–(4), 10 (1) and 14 (1) and (3) (b) and (g), of the Covenant with respect to Mr. Ismanov.
In September 2010 a car laden with explosives entered the courtyard of Sughd Regional Department for Combating Organized Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and exploded, killing the driver, considered to be a suicide bomber, and three employees of the department. As a result, 53 persons were indicted, including Mr. Ismanov. On 23 December 2011, the defendants were found guilty and sentenced to various prison terms, from five years’ to life imprisonment. Mr. Ismanov himself was sentenced to eight years in prison.
The authors claim that Mr. Ismanov was subjected to torture and mistreatment, in violation of his rights under articles 7 and 10 (1) of the Covenant, owing to his treatment during the investigation process, where he was beaten and subjected to boiling water. Ms. Nazhmutdinova claims that she was told that her husband had been taken away with a bag on his head and not informed of his whereabouts for several days, which caused her severe shock and distress consituting inhuman treatment.
The Committee considered that in light of the facts provided by the author, and that the state party failed to provide any information as to the inquiry, that the facts disclosed a violation of Mr. Ismanov’s rights under article 7 of the Covenant, read separately and in conjunction with article 2 (3). Further, the Committee noted that the detention of M. Ismanov was conducted without informing him of the reasons for his arrest or the charges against him, and was not brought before a judge. Consequently, in the absence of further relevant explanations by the state party, the Committee concludes that the State party violated Mr. Ismanov’s rights under article 9.
Further, owing to the anguish and mental stress that these circumstances caused to Ms. Nazhmutdinova, the Committee also found a violation of her rights under article 7.
The Committee recommended that the state party make full reparation to individuals whose Covenant rights have been violated. Accordingly, the State party is obligated, inter alia, to take appropriate steps to:
- conduct a thorough, prompt and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment and initiate criminal proceedings against those responsible.
- provide the authors with adequate compensation for the violations that occurred.
- take all steps necessary to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future.
Individual opinion of Committee member Vasilka Sancin (partly dissenting)
- Committee member Vasilka Sancin refused to join the majority on the finding that the state party violated Ms. Nazhmutdinova’s rights under article 7.
- Sancin argued that such a finding would unjustifiably lower the threshold for establishing inhuman treatment and would potentially open the floodgate to similar claims in numerous other cases.
The Committee requested that the state party provide an update outlining measures taken to give effect to the Committee's views within 180 days, or prior to 5 January 2020.