Amnesty International: Ethnic Chechen Faces Extradition to Russia
Anzor Chentiev, an ethnic Chechen asylum seeker in Slovakia, is facing imminent extradition to Russia. If returned to Russia, he will be at risk of torture and an unfair trial.
Anzor Chentiev reportedly faces criminal proceedings under terrorism-related charges initiated against him by the Russian authorities. Anzor Chentiey applied for asylum in Slovakia after he arrived in the country several years ago. According to his lawyer he was placed in detention in connection with an extradition request from the Russian authorities, and spent almost nine years on remand.
Anzor Chentiev had been seeking asylum and fighting extradition for almost nine years, but suddenly dropped his asylum request in January 2014 and submitted a request to the Slovak Minister of Justice to be returned to Russia. He also asked the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to lift the interim measures which had been previously issued in his case. Amnesty International believes that he may have made these requests under duress. The Slovak authorities have since initiated the extradition proceedings.
On 3 June 2014 Anzor Chentiev re-applied for asylum in Slovakia and, through his lawyer, filed a new application for interim measures to the ECHR stating that he had discontinued his initial proceedings after suffering psychological problems following nine years in detention. The ECHR has given 11 June 2014 as the deadline for both Anzor Chentiev and the Slovak government to submit further requested information before it can rule on the request for interim measures.
Please write immediately in Slovak, English or your own language to the Slovak authorities:
Urging them to halt the extradition of Anzor Chentiev to the Russian Federation in compliance with Slovakia’s obligation under international law not to deport, expel, return or extradite any person to a country where he is at risk of serious human rights abuses, including torture and other ill-treatment (principle of non-refoulement);
Urging them to ensure Anzor Chentiev’s well-being, and provide him with any medical or psychological support as may be required, as soon as possible.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 21 JULY 2014 TO:
Minister of Interior of Slovak Republic
Ministry of Interior of Slovak Republic
Pribinova 2, 812 72 Bratislava
Fax: + 421 25296 7746
Salutation: Dear Minister
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice of Slovak Republic
Župné námestie 13, 813 11 Bratislava
Fax: +421 25935 3601
Salutation: Dear Minister
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
URGENT ACTION : Ethnic Chechen Faces Extradition to Russia
The extradition of Anzor Chentiev before the final determination of his claim for asylum in Slovakia would be inconsistent with the procedures recommended by the Executive Committee of the Programme of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the body charged by the international community with elaborating protection standards under the Refugee Convention, to which Slovakia is a party.
There are regular reports of torture and other ill-treatment, and unlawful detention, as well as other human rights violations including extra-judicial execution and enforced disappearances, from across the North Caucasus. These are frequently reported in the context of so-called counterterrorist activities conducted by members of law enforcement agencies in Chechnya and across the region. The nature of these activities is highly secretive, and the law enforcement agencies are not publicly accountable for the way in which these activities are conducted. Amnesty International has repeatedly come across allegations from across the North Caucasus that the targeting of certain individuals as suspected members of illegal armed groups has been arbitrary.
The use of torture in particular is frequent, persistent and widespread in the North Caucasus and across the Russian Federation, and at the moment there are no effective remedies for its victims. In a significant number of reported cases when specific individuals were targeted as suspected members of illegal armed groups, there were credible allegations that evidence against them was based mostly or entirely on “confessions” or “testimonies” extracted under torture or duress. Such “confessions” and “testimonies” are reported to be widely used in unfair trials as the basis for convicting people for crimes arising from the activities of armed groups and for other crimes. There are also numerous reports of courts dismissing as defence tactics complaints by defendants about torture and ill-treatment and attempting to retract their earlier statements. For more details see Amnesty International, Russian Federation: Briefing to the UN Committee against Torture (AI Index: EUR 46/040/2012), 15 October 2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR46/040/2012/en.
Slovakia is obliged under international law to respect the fundamental principle of non-refoulement: the absolute and unconditional obligation on states not to deport, expel, return or extradite any person to a country where they risk serious human rights abuses, including torture or other ill-treatment. This principle is enshrined in Article 3 of the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), Article 3(1) of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), as well as Article 33 of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention), to all of which Slovakia is a state party.
Name: Anzor Chentiev
Gender m/f: m
UA: 146/14 Index: EUR 72/002/2014 Issue Date: 9 June 2014