EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Uzbek Refugees Face Extradition From Kazakstan

Posted by Info on 02/11/2010

Kazak authorities applying own rules on asylum-seekers in the face of accepted international standards.

The 29 Uzbek nationals who were seeking asylum in Kazakstan were among a larger group of 45 individuals detained in June during a raid by law enforcement forces targeting illegal migrants.
Fifteen were subsequently released but 30 remained in custody because the authorities in Uzbekistan had filed extradition requests against them.

The Uzbek authorities accuse them of a range of offences including terrorism, religious extremism, and membership of banned Islamic groups, charges which the detainees deny. Seventeen of them had obtained certificates from the UN refugee agency UNHCR stating that they were seeking asylum.

However, since new national legislation came into force in Kazakstan in January, all asylum claims, whether made to the government or UNHCR, are being referred to a special commission which decides whether to grant refugee status. The commission reviewed the 30 cases in August, and turned all of them down. All but one of the asylum-seekers then lodged appeals against the rulings in court.
Human rights activists fear that if the asylum-seekers are sent back to Tashkent, they will face imprisonment and torture.

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