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Antayev and Others v. Russia, No. 37966/07, ECtHR (First Section), 3 July 2014


Prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment. Violent behavior by police officers driven by ethnic or racial biases. Obligation to carry out effective investigations. Link between racist attitudes and acts of violence. Prohibition of discrimination. Ethnic profiling. 

Normative references

Art. 3 ECHR 
Art. 14 ECHR 


1. The violent and unjustified behavior of police officers during a house search, inflicted upon the victims with the aim to intimidate, humiliate and debase them, constitutes an inhuman and degrading treatment pursuant to art. 3 ECHR (case in which the applicants had suffered serious physical injuries following a search conducted in their house by the police).
2. Where evidence comes to light of racist verbal abuse being uttered by law-enforcement agents, in connection with the alleged ill-treatment of persons belonging to an ethnic or other minority, a thorough examination of all the facts should be undertaken in order to discover any possible racial motives (case in which the applicants, persons of Chechen ethnicity, complained to the authorities that they had been subject to ill-treatment and racial verbal abuse by police officers during a house search operation).
3. The existence of internal police instructions to treat suspects of a specific ethnic origin in a particular manner and the application during police operations represents a form of ethnic profiling, contrary to the prohibition of discrimination enshrined in art. 14 ECHR (case in which the Strasbourg Court observed that the local police had called the Regional Department for combating organised crime and a group of armed special police officers to assist them in carrying out searches at the homes of the applicant’s families – in connection with what would otherwise appear to have been the investigation of a minor offence – because the suspects were of Chechen origin).