“Green card” for Lemma Susarov?
The Kyiv migration office has issued Chechen asylum-seeker Lemma Susarov with a document confirming his status as a person whose application for refugee status is being processed. The document is valid until 30 October 2007.
Lemma Susarovs lawyer Oleh Levytsky informed journalists of this today. Mr Levytsky mentioned that a picket had been held on Friday outside the Prosecutor Generals office calling for the decision to extradite his client to Russia to be revoked. Mr Levytsky added that the defence would also be appealing against the refusal by the Pechersky District Court to consider the lawyers appeal against the extradition ruling.
Lemma Susarov fled from the Chechen Republic to Azerbaijan at the end of 2005. In 2006 the UNHCR office in Baku declared him a prima facie refugee, issuing him with registration number 6030. Number 6032 was given to Ruslan Yeliyev from the same village. According to Lemma Susarov, the two men lived in the same flat. In the evening of 9 November 2006 Ruslan Yeliyev was abducted. Fearing for his life, Lemma Susarov fled to Ukraine.
At the end of March this year, a Chechen website “Kavkaz Centre” posted a report saying that the mutilated body of Ruslan Yeliyev had been dropped in a sack from what was believed to have been a Russian helicopter near the village he was from. The Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Republic of Ingushetia declared Lemma Susarov wanted. He was accused of an armed robbery of a shop allegedly carried out on 5 February 2004.
On 27 July the Ukrainian Prosecutor General sanctioned Susarovs extradition to Russia. On 6 August the Kyiv Court of Appeal passed a ruling to remand him in custody pending the final decision on extradition. On 23 August, as mentioned, the Pechersky District Court refused to review the appeal against the extradition ruling brought by Susarovs lawyer.
There has been considerable attention from human rights activists to this case. An appeal was also sent to the Prosecutor General Oleksandr Medvedko by the Human Rights Ombudsperson Nina Karpachova.