Until 2010, in most disappearance cases presented to the European court by the Russian Justice Initiative, applicants were awarded a set sum of about $45,500 as moral compensation for violations suffered, an amount that was raised in 2010 to about $78,000.
The organization argued that in most cases the missing, presumed dead, were family breadwinners and that the award was the only remedy for disappearances in Chechnya.
In the case of the young Chechen man who disappeared, after years of bouncing the case from one agency to another, the government failed to establish that Sambiyev had ever been arrested, despite at least two witnesses' accounts to the contrary. After the case ended up in the European Court of Human Rights last year, the Russian government was ordered to pay Sambiyev's family $87,000 in compensation, including legal costs.
In the Khodorkovsky case, brought by his own lawyers, the European court on May 31 awarded the former chief of the Yukos oil company about $32,000 in damages when it found that his rights were violated during his October 2003 arrest and his pretrial detention.
Khodorkovsky, still imprisoned on charges of financial crimes, has said he will donate the money to charity.