Slovakia Postpones Extradition of Two Chechen Men
According to sources of Waynakh Online, due to an injuction of ECHR, Slovakian government postponed the extradition of Ali Ibragimov and Anzor Chentiev who are waiting in a Slovak prison for four years.
Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union [SDKU]) cannot give her approval of their extradition until that date. Žitňanská did not say how she would proceed. “The minister has not yet decided on the extradition of these people to Russia and is considering a further course of action,” said Justice Ministry spokesman Peter Bubla.
Moscow has demanded these two Chechen asylum seekers based on a fabricated accusation as banditry and an attempt to assassinate Russian Interior Ministry officials. As they turned to the European Court, they managed to gain time.
Although European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decided in mid-September that Slovakia could extradite them, it later told the Slovak authorities to wait until they heard the testimony of an unsuccessful Chechen asylum applicant who was allegedly tortured in Russia after he was extradited from Slovakia.
Many human rights activists have begun to appeal to the Slovak Government in the name of Chentiev and Ibragimov. Russian dissident Viktor Fainberg has made himself heard, as well as Finnish MEP Heidi Hautala, who heads the sub-committee for human rights. Belgian MEPs Bart Staes and Frieda Brepoels joined in as well. Michael Kocab, former Czech minister for human rights, wrote to Prime Minister Iveta Radicova and met with several members of the government. He suggests that the two Chechens should be granted humanitarian asylum.
In the meantime, the defence of Chentiev and Ibragimov has been taken over by human rights activists Hana Demeterova from the Czech nongovernmental organization “Help A Man” and Imran Ezhiev, a Chechen asylum seeker in Germany and adviser to Belgian MEP Bart Staes. They asked Strasbourg a week ago to issue an injunction and temporarily ban Slovakia from extraditing the two Chechens to Russia. The Chechens based their new complaint on not being provided an effective defence.
On November 23rd, Mr T.L.Early, the section registrar of ECHR’s fourth section send a letter to applicants and informed them that the Court has decided to “prolong until further notice the interim measure indicated under Rule 39 of the Rules of the Court.”