Abductions and Forcible Returns from Russia to Uzbekistan proceed

By Ella Shen

A couple of weeks in the past, Amnesty International, together with different worldwide organizations, has expressed heavy concern over the potential for hazard, together with torture amongst different human rights violations, to journalist Khudoberdi Nurmatov (also referred to as Ali Feruz), if forcibly returned to Uzbekistan.Nurmatov’s lawyer, Maria Kurakina, said, “there has been no extradition request from Uzbekistan. There have been no charges against him on alleged involvement into extremist activities or justification of terrorism. His staying in Russia has been absolutely legitimate as he applied for asylum and the decision is still pending.” After Nurmatov’s Uzbek passport was stolen in 2012, beneath risk of arrest, he didn’t journey to Uzbekistan to retrieve a brand new one and instead applied for asylum in Russia, his mom’s homeland and his nation of start.

On March 17, Dmitry Peskov, the press particular person of Vladimir Putin, introduced that “the Kremlin is unaware of any asylum application submitted by Nurmatov.” These claims have been refuted by Novaya Gazeta which had revealed the correspondence between the President’s Administration and Dmitry Muratov, the editor-in-chief, on Nurmatov’s asylum request.

Ali Feruz’s story will not be unusual.

Uzbekistan is ranked 166th out of 180 nations in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. There have been a number of documented studies on the widespread use of torture in Uzbek prisons. Several Uzbek residents who had been looking for asylum or had been granted refugee standing have gone missing in Moscow to reappear in Uzbek jails.

In Amnesty International’s Fast-Track to Torture: Abductions and Forcible Returns from Russia to Uzbekistan, revealed in April 2016, analysis discovered that tons of of asylum-seekers, refugees and labor migrants have been kidnapped or forcibly returned from Russia to Uzbekistan since 2014 in whole violation of Russia’s worldwide human rights obligations. Additionally, Russia ceaselessly employs administrative means, similar to deportations for administrative offences, to return people to Uzbekistan the place they face precedented threat of torture. Furthermore, Russia doesn’t conduct efficient investigations into these abductions when raised.

In no less than three latest instances of abduction and forcible return from Russia to Uzbekistan since March 2015 (Davron Komoliddinov in March 2015, Sarvar Mardiev in March 2016 and Olim Ochilov in July 2016), the people weren’t apprised of their proper to use for State safety, regardless that they, their authorized representatives and human rights organisations had expressed a “perceived risk of irregular removal.”

In the case of asylum seeker Sarvar Mardiev, officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) apprehended him on March 4, 2016, however his whereabouts have been undisclosed till October 2016, when the Uzbek authorities confirmed his detention in Kashkadaria. Olim Ochilov, a 27-year-old Uzbekistani asylum seeker, was forcibly returned from Russia to Uzbekistan regardless of interim measures issued by the European Court of Human Rights. Russian authorities ignored the European Court’s resolution and proceeded with Ochilov’s forcible return in direct violation of authorized obligations. Ochilov’s Russian legal professionals have been unable to ascertain his whereabouts in Uzbekistan.

In the case of forcible return of Davron Komoliddinov, human rights defender Nadezhda Atayeva of Association for Human Rights in Central Asia (AHRCA) informed Forum 18 that he was certainly being tortured after an unfair trial.

Amnesty Interational’s analysis has verified the persevering with observe of co-operation and collusion between the Russian Federation and Uzbekistan, for the aim of forcibly returning people to Uzbekistan the place they’re at actual threat of torture or different ill-treatment. Amnesty International calls on the Russian Federation to:

  • Fully and systematically be certain that nobody inside the Russian Federation’s jurisdiction is forcibly returned, by the use of extradition or in any other case, to any nation, together with Uzbekistan, the place they might be vulnerable to torture or different ill-treatment in addition to unfair trials or some other critical human rights violations, and arrange clear and efficient monitoring mechanisms to make sure compliance with such measures;
  • Stop routinely detaining and deporting people, together with asylum-seekers, who’ve been declared “undesirable aliens” to their nation of origin, together with Uzbekistan, with out assessing in earnest the chance of torture upon return and chorus from their forcible return the place the chance exists, and set up an efficient mechanism whereby a person declared an “undesirable alien” is granted the proper to attraction the choice to deport;
  • Fully and systematically comply in observe with all Rule 39 interim measures and judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, particularly in relation to instances of return and extradition.

Ella Shen is the Eurasia Regional Action Network coordinator at Amnesty International USA.

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Ali Feruz, photograph by Viktoria Odissonova, Novaya Gazeta.

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