Strasbourg: extradition to Uzbekistan equivalent to handing over to be tortured


In another case  - Karimov v. Russia – that the Ukrainian authorities should note, the European Court of Human Rights has found that Russia violated both the prohibition against torture (Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights) and the right to liberty and security (Article 5 § 1). It states categorically that Mr Karimov’s extradition to Uzbekistan would be a violation of the prohibition against torture.

Abdumutallib Karimov is an Uzbek national who was born in 1964 and lives in Yoshkar-Ola, the Republic of Mari-Al, Russia.   After being a chance witness to the events of 13 May 2005 in Andijan, he fled to Russia to escape the persecution perpetrated by the Uzbekistan authorities against those who witnessed the carnage. He was detained in Yoshkar-Ola in June 2008 because the authorities had declared him wanted on charges of being implicated in an armed uprising.

In September 2008 the Prosecutor General decided not to wait for the asylum procedure and issued instructions for his extradition. The appeals failed, as did the recognition by the UNHCR that he was a person needing international protection. It was then that the European Court of Human Rights was approached and the Court applied Rule 39, halting any extradition pending review of the case.

In its judgment on 29 July, the Court considered that Mr Karimov was accused of a number of politically motivated crimes. It stated that he would almost certainly be placed in custody following extradition and there was a serious likelihood of ill-treatment.

The Court therefore concluded that Mr Karimov’s extradition would be a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention, prohibiting torture.

This is yet another confirmation that the behaviour of the Ukrainian authorities in detaining at least 2 Uzbek asylum seekers - Umid Khamroyev and Kosim Dadakhanov is absolutely unacceptable. 

Please see: and the links below for more detail, including a statement from Amnesty International expressing concern over the Ukrainian authorities’ behaviour with regard to people protected by Ukrainian and international law

Based on a report from Yelena Ryabinina, Head of the Right to Asylum Programme who, together with Roman Zilberman, represented Mr Karimov.

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