UNHCR response to abduction of Leonid Razvozzhaev
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is deeply concerned about the disappearance of Leonid Razvozzhaev from Kyiv, Ukraine on 19 October 2012.
The individual approached UNHCR seeking international protection and was invited to be registered at the office of UNHCR’s partner organization, an NGO providing free legal assistance in Kyiv. The legal counselor at the organization conducted a registration interview and began to provide free legal counseling to the individual. During a break in the counseling session, the legal counselor contacted UNHCR in order to discuss the situation, and meanwhile Mr. Razvozzhaev said he would go to a nearby cafeteria for lunch and left his personal belongings in the office. When he did not return to the interview and the lawyer could not contact him on the phone, a missing person’s report was immediately filed with the Solomiansky division of the police.
A functional asylum system requires that persons seeking international protection have confidence in a fair and equitable asylum system that will allow them to make their claim and to have their human rights, notably their physical integrity and personal data fully respected and protected by the host State. Any removal to the country of origin not respecting existing procedures may lead to the State being held responsible for a grave violation of national and international law.
UNHCR expects that the incident will be thoroughly investigated by the relevant law enforcement authorities and awaits the results of official investigation.