Serious danger that Ukraine will return an asylum seeker to Uzbekistan



The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has expressed deep concern about the serious risk of refoulement of another refugee facing extradition in spite of a well-founded fear of persecution in his country of origin.  

The individual’s request for protection under Ukrainian law has been rejected by the State Migration Service, and his second application for complementary protection is pending.   He is currently holding a valid asylum-seeker certificate.  In the absence of a functional national protection mechanism respecting international standards, UNHCR conducted extensive interviews and analysis of the risks the individual would face in Uzbekistan and thereafter recognized him as a refugee under its mandate.  UNHCR is seeking urgent resettlement for this refugee to a third country.  

Nevertheless, the extradition of this refugee appears to be underway, as he was recently transferred to Kyiv.  UNHCR regrets that it continues to be denied unfettered access to persons of its concern.  

UNHCR notes that it would be illegal for the authorities to extradite an asylum-seeker whose application for international protection remains under consideration by Ukraine’s State Migration Service.    

Furthermore, UNHCR urges the authorities to cooperate with UNHCR in good faith in the evaluation of the individual’s status as a UNHCR mandate refugee.  As a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, Ukraine has an obligation to provide UNHCR with an effective opportunity to present its views regarding this case, to be consulted, and to have access to information that would enable it to fulfill its supervisory responsibility.

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