Statement: Russia’s decision to deport journalist Ali Feruz to Uzbekistan puts him at risk of torture
Free Russia Foundation calls to Russian authorities for immediate overturn of their decision to deport asylum seeker Khudoberdi Nurmatov, better known under his journalist alias Ali Feruz, to Uzbekistan.
Ali Feruz, whose expulsion Moscow’s Basmanny district court ordered on August 1, 2017, is a civil activist and a journalist with one of Russia’s leading independent investigative newspapers, Novaya Gazeta. He covers such issues as hate crimes, migrant workers’ rights, and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
Ali Feruz escaped from Uzbekistan in 2009 after he was detained and tortured by officers from the Uzbekistani National Security Service who were seeking to force him to be their secret informer.
He has repeatedly tried to claim asylum in Russia and had recently appealed the Russian immigration authorities’ refusal to grant him refugee status. In a late night court hearing yesterday, the judge found him in violation of “the rules of entry or stay in the Russian Federation by a foreign citizen” and ordered his deportation.
“In spite of overwhelming evidence of the risks of torture and other human rights violations that Ali Feruz would face in Uzbekistan, the judge still ruled that he should be deported. This utterly erroneous decision contravenes the absolute prohibition of torture and must be immediately overturned.”