Outrage over Ukraine’s extradition of a refugee


There remains confusion within Ukraine as to whom the authorities have extradited to Russia, however it is quite clear that a grave breach of international law has been committed.  A joint statement has been released by spokespersons for the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Fule.  This repeats the information provided by the UNHCR and indicates criminal disregard for the fundamental ban on refoulement.  The person extradited, probably Magomet Nalgiev, had been recognized as a refugee under the UNHCR’s mandate and an EU country had already agreed to give him asylum.  

Joint statement by the spokespersons of The spokespersons of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, made today the following statement: “High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Fьle are deeply concerned at news that an individual from the Russian Federation (Republic of Ingushetia) recognised as a refugee under international law was extradited from Ukraine on 15 August. They fully endorse the conclusion of U)HCR that this case demonstrates a breach in the obligation to respect the principle of non-refoulement.

The High Representative and the Commissioner note that the Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation under the EU-Ukraine Visa Dialogue includes a number of commitments by Ukraine relating to adoption of asylum legislation in line with international and EU standards, including protecting the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. It is regrettable that in this case Ukraine appears not to have respected these commitments, despite repeated and explicit requests in the last weeks from both U)HCR and the EU.”

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