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Report: Illegal extradition and kidnapping of citizens of Central Asian countries in the Russian Federation

According to the information provided by the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation, in 2012, rulings were issued to render 1124 persons to other States; at the same time, foreign states granted 229 of 439 Russian extradition requests.  In many cases, the renderings concerned people who had committed crimes, and whose guilt had been proven. However, there are also incidents of illegal extradition, undertaken in violation of international agreements and contrary to the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. In most cases, it is extradition to the Central Asian countries, where prisoners are subjected to torture and ill-treatment. Thus, according to the information provided by the international human rights organisation Amnesty International, from August 2011 to June 2013, 9 people were illegally deported from Russia to the countries of Central Asia.

Thus, the situation surrounding human rights in the countries of Central Asia and the Russian Federation is extremely unsatisfactory. Detainees and prisoners are subjected to torture and ill-treatment, contrary to the international obligations of the States, and these phenomena are systemic in nature and are concealed in every possible way by workers of law enforcement bodies and the penitentiary system. The practice of illegal extradition within the CIS and SCO is commonplace; it is frequently carried out in contempt of the decisions of the ECHR regarding the inadmissibility of expulsion due to the threat of ill-treatment or illegal prosecution. Close cooperation is established between the special services of these states; as a consequence, upon the release of a detainee in one country, the refugee may be detained and convicted in his homeland.

In connection with the described situation, it is very important to prevent the extradition of refugees from European countries to Russia, where they might be subjected to torture or be sent back to the countries of Central Asia and subjected to ill-treatment and convicted there. It is international intervention which facilitates the prevention of neglect of human rights both by urging states to fulfill their obligations to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens, and by granting asylum to those who may face ill-treatment or politically motivated prosecution in their homeland.