Russia has suspended the extradition of 13 Uzbek nationals
The 13 Uzbek nationals held at Ivanovo SIZO [pre-trial detention centre] have been granted a temporary reprieve. This was reported earlier together by the public information and relations department of the Prosecutor General, which stated the following:
“Given the consideration by the European Court of Human Rights of appeals by these people, the court has decided to apply Rule 39 of the Court Regulations, according to which Russia should refrain from any deportation (extradition), or other forced move of the above-mentioned individuals to Uzbekistan until the conclusion of the court proceedings”.
Human rights activists intend to seek the absolute release of the Uzbeks through the Court in Strasbourg. This was stressed together by the Head of the Civic Assistance Committee Svetlana Ganushkina, who said that now that the extradition had been temporarily halted, the Committee would again apply to have them released from custody. Human rights activists would in the near future lodge an appeal against the actions of the prosecutor (the only court order for remanding the men in custody was over a year ago – translator)
Recently the Kyrgyz Republic handed over five Uzbek refugees who fled to the republic after the Andijon events in May 2005. Kyrgyz human rights organizations have condemned the extradition.
According to official information, 187 people, 60 of them civilians, died as a result of the Andijon Riots. However western human rights organizations assert that from 12 to 13 May more than 800 people were killed, most of them civilians.
The Uzbekistan authorities have refused to carry out an independent investigation, with the participation of foreign experts, on what happened in Andijon. This refusal led the European Union to impose sanctions against Uzbekistan which include a ban on selling weapons or other things that could be used to crush opposition. Uzbek officials, alleged to be involved in the events at Andijon, have been barred entry to countries of the EU. www.grani.ru