Euroopa Inimõiguste Kohus
13.12.2005

Facts

The applicant, Mr. Timishev, is an ethnic Chechen who at the time of the application lived in Kabardino-Balkar Republic of Russian Federation as a forced migrant. Once, when returning from the Chechen Republic to the Kabardino-Balkar Republic the applicant was denied entry in the latter. The Government submitted that the oral orders for the officers contained a preclusion for individual Chechen cars to enter the Kabardino-Balkar Republic because of security reasons.

Complaint

The applicant submitted that the restriction on his right to liberty of movement had operated against him in a discriminatory manner because it had been conditional on his ethnic origin in violation of Article 14 of the Convention.

Court’s ruling

The Court reiterated that Article 14 protects individuals placed in similar situations from any discrimination in the enjoyment of the rights set forth in other provisions of the Convention and its Protocols. The Court noted that a differential treatment of persons in relevantly similar situations, without an objective and reasonable justification, constitutes discrimination and that discrimination on account of one's actual or perceived ethnicity is a form of racial discrimination which states must combat with every means.

In the Court's view, the particular case represented a clear inequality of treatment in the enjoyment of the right to liberty of movement on account of one's ethnic origin as the applicant was not admitted in the Kabardino-Balkar Republic because he was perceived to be of Chechen origin to the officers. No other ethnical group was treated that way. As the government could not offer any justification for the difference in treatment between persons of Chechen and non-Chechen ethnic origin in the enjoyment of their right to liberty of movement. the Court concluded that the applicant's right to liberty of movement was restricted solely on the ground of his ethnic origin and that difference in treatment constituted racial discrimination within the meaning of Article 14 of the Convention.