Strasbourg prohibits extradition of Austrian refugee Chataev to Russia
On 14 January the European Court of Human Rights applied Rule 39 and pointed out to the Ukrainian Government that Akhmed Chataev must not be extradited to Russia until further notice.
The Centre for Legal Assistance to Victims of Torture and Ill-treatment has been dealing with the case since 7 January when news was received that Chataev had been detained by Ukrainian police on the basis of an extradition request from Russia. On 8 January an application was submitted for the European Court to apply temporary measures. The Court requested further information, invaluable help in obtaining which was providing by bar lawyer Vladislav Mukhadyanov, representatives of the UNHCR in Ukraine as well as other people and organizations.
Akhmed Chataev is presently being held in a SIZO [remand centre]. As reported already, he was detained on 7 January by Uzhhorod officers of the Department for Fighting Organized Crime. The police inform that he was detained because he is on the international wanted list in connection with charges of terrorism. The order for his detention was passed by the Grozny Court.
With the help of the UNHCR, Mr Chataev, who is disabled following ill-treatment in Chechnya, received official refugee status in Austria where he has lived for several years with his wife and three children. He was in Ukraine on personal matters, has broken no Ukrainian law and was planning to return to Austria.
Mr Chataev has already once been detained - by the Swedish police in March 2007 – because of being on the international wanted list. He was then released as a person protected by the UN Convention on Refugees.