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Timishev v. Russia (application Nos. 55762/00 and 55974/00)

13 December 2005


Timishev, an ethnic Chechen, was refused registration of his permanent residence in Nalchik on account of him being a former resident of the Chechen Republic.


Violation of Article 14 (non-discrimination) taken in conjunction with Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 (liberty of movement). Timishev’s right to liberty of movement “was restricted solely on the ground of his ethnic origin”, a difference in treatment which constituted racial discrimination within the meaning of Article 14.

Key jurisprudence

  • “Ethnicity and race are related and overlapping concepts. Whereas the notion of race is rooted in the idea of biological classification of human beings into subspecies according to morphological features such as skin colour or facial characteristics, ethnicity has its origin in the idea of societal groups marked by common nationality, tribal affiliation, religious faith, shared language, or cultural and traditional origins and backgrounds.” (§ 55)
  • “Discrimination on account of one’s actual or perceived ethnicity is a form of racial discrimination”. (§ 56)
  • “The Court considers that no difference in treatment which is based exclusively or to a decisive extent on a person’s ethnic origin is capable of being objectively justified in a contemporary democratic society built on the principles of pluralism and respect for different cultures.” (§ 58)

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