Chechen woman sexually assaulted by the authorities

Concerning Mrs. A.R.I. vs. Denmark for violation of article 2 (c) – (f) and article 5 (a) of CEDAW.

The author had been studying medicine for almost a year when the armed conflict broke out in Chechnya. The author was not a member of any political or religious organizations and had not sympathized with the Chechen rebel movement. However, her cousin was a member of the movement. In June 2014 she was arrested and detained. In detention, she was interrogated, kicked and pushed and was verbally and sexually assaulted. After three days, she was released, and after spending about two months in hiding with her uncle, she fled to Denmark in 2014.

The author indicates that being a victim of sexual abuse is considered shameful in her culture, and she is regarded as a ”touched woman” in her town. Her older brother told her mother that he intended to kill her to restore the family’s honor, a practice known as so-called “honor killing”. She submits that the Chechen authorities do not effectively protect against such a risk, as an honor killing is considered a traditional ritual. The author adds that the Chechen authorities regard her as someone who assists the Chechen rebel movement and that she is at risk of specified pursuit.

Her asylum case got rejected by The Immigration Service and the Refugee Appeals Board, both finding her story to be untrustworthy. The Committee considers that nothing on file leads it to conclude that the State party have failed in their duty to properly assess the risks that the author would face if deported to the Russian Federation. The Committee therefore declare the communication inadmissible under article 4 (2) (c) of the Optional Protocol.

9. January 2020

  • Decision: 25 February 2019
  • Comm: Gender