A less forgone conclusion

While the world endeavours to understand exactly how predictable the results of the Russian elections were, the fate of one individual in Russia hangs in the balance TODAY.
Abdugani Kamaliyev (Tursinov), an Uzbek married to a Russian national is in danger of being unlawfully expelled to Uzbekistan. He disappeared last week, and it was only through the concentrated efforts of human rights defenders that he was not sent back on the weekly flight to Tashkent from Tyumen on Tuesday 27 November.
Although it was finally revealed on 29 November (!) that a court ruling dated 23 November had ordered his “administrative expulsion” and this ruling has now been appealed, the secrecy over the whole matter is highly disturbing.
The appeal hearing was scheduled for today, 4 December. This is presumably deliberate since the next flight to Tashkent is tonight. However the lawyer the Civic Assistance Committee found to represent Kamaliyev (Tursinov) had a long-standing commitment for today and left all necessary documentation with an application for a postponement. This was clearly ignored, and the appeal court upheld the original expulsion order.
A fax was received from the European Court of Human Rights this morning, at very least 12 hours before the flight, calling for a temporary halt to any expulsion measures.
If the Russian authorities ignore this, they are flouting Strasbourg and their international commitments.
As we have already reported, the level of Russian cooperation with the repressive regime of Uzbekistan’s Islam Karimov and the use of administrative expulsions even after applications for extradition have been rejected, are giving serious cause for concern. The Prosecutor General found no grounds a year ago to extradite Kamaliyev (Tursinov). Since the only conceivable justification for violating the right to family life enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights would be that the individual involved posed a threat to national security, any attempt to expel a person married to a Russian national who was not deemed liable to extradition is a clear violation of both Russian law and Russia’s international commitments.
This is a case where public scrutiny could act as a potent force in preventing a wrong before it is too late.

Halya Coynash
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

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