Russian Prosecutor General rules to extradite the first of the “Ivanovo Uzbeks”
Memorial Human Rights Centre
Civic Assistance Committee
127006 Россия, Москва, ул.Долгоруковская, д.33, стр.6
28.07.2006 The Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation has allowed the extradition of a Kyrgyz citizen, Mamirzhon Tashtemirov who, together with 12 Uzbek nationals, has been held in the pre-trial detention centre (SIZO) in the town of Ivanovo at the request of the Uzbek authorities to have them extradited on fabricated charges of involvement in an armed uprising in Andijon in May 2005.
This was made public on 28 July during a court review in the Oktyabrsky District Court in Ivanovo of the complaint brought by Tashtemirovs lawyer, Irina Sokolova, against the unlawful remand in custody of her client. The only court ruling on remand was taken on 29 July 2005, and has not been renewed once since then, this being in breach of the norms set down in Article 109 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) of the RF.
The hearing on this appeal was scheduled for 25 July, however it was postponed until 28 July on the application of the deputy prosecutor of the Oktyabrsky District due to new documents from the Prosecutor General being expected at the end of the week.
Ms Sokolova notes that before the court hearing began today, Gulyaev handed Mamirzhon Tashtemirov a document on a Prosecutor Generals form and asked him to read it and sign to say that he had. The conversation took place in the room for prisoners being brought to the court and in the absence of his lawyer Tashtemirov refused to sign anything.
During the hearings the prosecutors representative put forward and the court included in the material of the case a resolution from 27.07.2006 signed by the first deputy of the Prosecutor General, Aleksandr Buksman, ruling to hand Kyrgyz national M.Kh. Tashtemirov over to the law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Uzbekistan to face criminal prosecution. It was the notification of this ruling that Таштемирова has been told to look over quickly and sign to confirm that hed read in the absence of his lawyer.
Having considered the case, the residing Judge, Alexei Mamim ruled:
“given that the question regarding M.Kh. Tashtemirovs extradition has been taken by a competent official, the question of M.Kh. Tashtemirovs release from custody cannot be decided by the present court hearing since he is subject to extradition according to established procedure”.
In his ruling the Judge effectively changed the essence of the claim, stating that the Defence had not presented grounds for changing or cancelling preventive measures in accordance with Article 110 § 1 of the CPC. The lawyer had in fact appealed against the unlawful remand in custody following the expiry of the time limits set down in Article 109 of the CPC, and in substantiation of this had referred to the Definition of the Constitutional Court of the RF from 04.04.2006 which states that the norms of the CPC of the RF apply to those remanded in custody following requests for extradition.
It should be noted that from 12 to 26 July 2006 the Ivanovsky Regional Court rejected appeals from all 13 Ivanovo prisoners against the refusal by the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) to grant them refugee status on the territory of the Russian Federation.
The FMS, the Russian Prosecutor General and the court have thus ignored the decision of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on providing the “Ivanovo Uzbeks” with international protection, as well as Article 33 of the UN 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees, which prohibits the extradition of such people.
Irina Sokolova intends to appeal the extradition ruling according to legally established procedure. In addition, the material from todays court hearing will be sent to Strasbourg as an appendix to the application lodged by the “Ivanovo Uzbeks” to have the extradition procedure halted, this having been registered with the European Court of Human Rights on 18 January 2006.
Head of the Program to assist political refugees from Central Asia
The Civic Assistance Committee