ECHR and Kaluga Oblast Court Stand up for a Kyrgyz Uzbek

The extradition of a member of a vulnerable group was suspended due to the possibility of being tortured in his home country.

Mamasadik Baratov left Kyrgyzstan in 2010 after the events of 10 and 11 June, when an inter-ethnic conflict broke out in the south of the country, resulting in more than 70 thousand Uzbeks were forced to abandon their homes and flee.

Mamasadik left for Russia. He left behind a successful business, his property, and his friends. He had to start all over again when he arrived Russia. And it seems that when things began to improve, Baratov was stopped by police for a documents inspection in 2016 and it turned out that his name was on the international wanted list. It turned out that back in his home state, Baratov had been accused of “having joined a criminal gang that was specially organized for committing murder, robbery, mugging from 12 to 13 June 2010”.

Mamasadik was detained for the time of the extradition investigation. He spent 18 months behind the bars after which he was released. The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation failed to issue any decision either on extradition or refusal of extradition of the Kyrgyz Uzbek. The reason for that, in the view of the lawyer of the Civic Assistance Committee Illarion Vasiliyev, was the fear of enforcing the Rule 39 of the European Court of Human Rights, the emergency measure implying prohibition against extradition of a person to the party requesting extradition in connection with a risk of inhuman treatment in the home state.  

Almost immediately after release, Mamasadik decided he needed to seek asylum in Russia. He saw no sense in applying in Moscow in the light of the upcoming World Cup, so he decided to settle in Obninsk, Kaluga Oblast, and apply for asylum there. The Directorate for Migration Affairs for Kaluga Oblast did not accept his file for refugee status proceedings as his Kyrgyz passport had expired, instead, he was told to address Obninsk police department for identity verification in his community. In the Obninsk Directorate for Migration Affairs, Mamasadik was detained. The migration authorities noticed his name in the internationally wanted database.

Right after this happened, Illarion Vasiliyev, the lawyer of the Civic Assistance Committee defending Baratov, contacted Obninsk Prosecutor’s Office. The lawyer explained that the extradition investigation concerning his client had just been completed and that Mamasadik had been released. The authority listened to the lawyer, contacted Moscow Prosecutor’s Office that conducted the investigation and assured the lawyer that they would let Mamasadik go.

While Illarion Vasiliyev was waiting for his client to be released next to the Prosecutor’s Office building, Baratov, as it turned out, was already being taken to court, where he was swiftly sentenced to a fine and to compulsory expulsion from the country with intermediary placement in the Center for Temporary Detention of Foreign Nationals for staying in Russia with an expired passport.

Attorney Illarion Vasiliyev filed an appeal against this sentence and immediately filed a request with the European Court of Human Rights to implement the Rule 39 in Baratov’s case. “They scheduled a hearing in Kaluga District Court right away, because both the judges and the Center for Temporary Detention of Foreign Nationals, unlike the Obninsk prosecutors, are already familiar with such procedures and realize what Rule 39 means and why one cannot expulse Uzbeks to Kyrgyzstan. The UNHCR Representative in Russia sent a letter to the court in support of my client and attached a favorable court decision in a similar case in Kazan,” says Vasiliyev. The Kaluga lawyer, Davydova Elvira brilliantly conducted the defense in the Kaluga region court.

Subject to the court decision Baratov was released from detention and his case was returned to the Obninsk Court for review.

The attorney, Vasiliyev sums it up by saying: “Now, thanks to Obninsk prosecution, we are in a remarkable position: we have both the injunction of the European Court of Human Rights against extradition of the refugee and a registered application before the European Court of Human Rights with urgent communication, which means the ECHR will hear the case very rapidly, and the refugee himself is free with no prospects of extradition”.  

Mamasadik is planning to apply for temporary asylum in Moscow Oblast again in a matter of days.

Translated by Daria Gorbacheva