Slovakia Approves the Extradition of Chechen Asylum Seeker
Slovakia’s Minister of Justice Tomáš Borec has approved the extradition of Chechen asylum seeker Anzor Chentiev to the Russian Federation, the SITA newswire reported on June 2.
Recalled that Russia asked for Anzor Chentiev‘s extradition, together with Ali Ibragimov, as both of them suspected of an attack in which two Russian occupying soldiers were killed in Grozny in 2001. However, in fact, they have just defend their homeland and families against the brutal Russian invasion in Chechnya.
Anzor Chentiev spent nine years in custody awaiting extradition. He repeatedly failed to obtain asylum in Slovakia, and his case did not succeed in the Slovak courts or at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), where he complained about the dismissal of his asylum application.
“The ECHR has dismissed the precaution which prevented the extradition of Mr Anzor Chentiev, and subsequently dismissed his second complaint,” spokesperson for the Justice Ministry Alexandra Donevová said, as quoted by SITA, adding that since there are no legal obstacles, Borec approved the extradition to Russia.
Anzor Chentiev, after a long-time proceeding over his application for asylum, turned to the ECHR, claiming he decided that he wanted to be extradited to Russia. The court subsequently abolished the precaution on March 18, 2014.
Hana Demeterová from the Help a Man civic association, who has been dealing with the case for several years, said that Anzor Chentiev had just surrendered and asked for extradition. Yet, he then regretted that decision and sent an apology to the ECHR, saying he does not want to be extradited.
“He made a bad decision under big pressure [due to] not only his own situation, from which he could not see a way out, and lost faith that anybody in Slovakia would help him, but also because he was concerned about the lives of his relatives in Chechnya,” Demeterová wrote in an open letter sent to the Justice Ministry, in which she asked the minister not to approve the extradition, as cited by SITA.
The ECHR meanwhile dismissed the complaint of Anzor Chentiev on April 15, and all that was needed for his extradition was the minister’s approval.
“When deciding [the minister] took into consideration the guarantees of Russia that his human rights will be observed,” Donevová said, as quoted by SITA, adding that the ECHR considered the guarantees sufficient.