“I’d rather die than return to Uzbekistan”;

“I’d rather die than return to Uzbekistan”;
The journalist of the “Novaya Gazeta” quot; Ali Feruz tried to commit suicide after the court decided to expel him from Russia. The incident occurred in the building of the Moscow Basmanny Court, immediately after the meeting. Radio Freedom was informed about this by Feruza’s lawyer, and journalist’s colleague Elena Kostyuchenko added that Feruz explained his act by saying that “it’s better to die than return to Uzbekistan”.
Reporter “New Newspaper” Ali Feruza (real name – Khudoberdi Nurmatov) was detained on August 1 in Armenian Lane in Moscow, when he left the music school where he was engaged in vocals. As Feruz said on Facebook, he was drafted a protocol under article 18.8 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, “Violation of a foreign citizen’s stay in Russia”; and taken to the Basmanny Court.
On Tuesday evening, Judge Artur Karpov ruled that Feruz was deported and fined him five thousand rubles. According to the version of the court and police officers, the journalist “Novaya Gazeta” since 2011 is in Russia illegally, and since 2012 at all – without documents. Feruza was taken into custody after the meeting and sent to a special temporary detention facility for foreign citizens (SUVSIG) in Sakharovo in the Moscow region. Lawyers intend to appeal against the decision of the Basmanny Court, says lawyer Daniil Khaimovich:
– They expel him in connection with the fact that, in the opinion of the court and the Migration Service, he violated the rules of staying on the territory of the Russian Federation. According to the Migration Service, Feruz had to leave the territory of the Russian Federation on his own. We do not agree with this resolution, we consider it illegal. On the territory of the Russian Federation, my client is on legal grounds. For a long time he has been trying to gain asylum in Russia because the return to the territory of Uzbekistan threatens his life and health. While he has not completely completed this procedure, he can be legally in the territory of Russia. These circumstances were simply not evaluated by the court. The second circumstance is that Feruza’s mother and sister are citizens of the Russian Federation, they live in Russia, and his expulsion in this situation also violates his rights, destroys the family in fact. This, too, was not assessed, despite the fact that the court was presented with evidence – his birth certificate, passport, a copy of the mother’s passport.
– Yes. Since the court, in addition to the fine, imposed a forced, controlled transfer, that is, expulsion, in this connection, according to our administrative legislation, before they come into force of the court order they are placed here in this special institution. It’s like a jail, it’s located in the suburbs, a closed institution, where, as far as I understand, only a lawyer can get in, you can hand over things, food, medicine. While the Moscow City Court does not consider our appeal, Ali will stay in this institution.
– What is his psychological state?
– The state, of course, is very difficult for him, because he is very afraid of returning to Uzbekistan. He believes that he is in serious danger there. Evidence of this has been repeatedly provided to Russian state authorities. Therefore, he is in a very depressed state.
“But is it true that he tried to commit suicide?”
– Yes, yes, it’s true.
Ali Feruz is a citizen of Uzbekistan, but he was born and spent his childhood in Russia. According to him, in 2009 he was forced to leave Uzbekistan after the National Security Service of Uzbekistan detained him and tortured him for refusing to cooperate. Now Feruz is in the process of obtaining temporary asylum in Russia. In May, he was refused asylum, the Interior Ministry explained that they did not find any grounds for this. At the same time in the spring, RIA Novosti news agency quoted the source as saying that in 2008 Ali Feruz was on the case of recruiting a radical Islamist organization called Ak Takfir Val Hijra, banned in Russia. The day before the arrest, the journalist filed an appeal against the refusal to grant him asylum in Russia.
Colleagues Feruza fear that on his return to Uzbekistan he may face prison and death. The journalist of the “Novaya Gazeta” newspaper reports. Elena Kostyuchenko:
“I’ve known Ali for four years.” Four years ago he came to us, brought a note just about an Uzbek refugee, who was abducted by Uzbek special services from Moscow. We then worked with him on this text, but he decided that he was not yet ready to work as a journalist, that he needed to learn Russian better. He returned in the winter of 2016, and we are working with him. He was an intern in our department of a group of reporters. He writes great texts about refugees, about migrants. He knows several foreign languages at a very good level, including Arabic, Uzbek, Tajik, Kazakh, Kyrgyz. This knowledge and his attention to people, good nature, allowed him to speak practically the same language in one language. He was engaged in the investigation of the massacre at the Khovansky cemetery, made a beautiful text about the 17 dead in the fire in the Moscow printing house of girls, and this was a very significant work. Now, for example, he is investigating the deaths of conscripts in the Russian army. Very good journalist!
Why is he being expelled from Russia now?
– I think that this is a monstrous mistake, because in fact Ali is in the process of obtaining temporary asylum, he is completely legally in our country, he has documents that confirm this. However, for some reason the court did not take into account these documents and made such a decision. We are contesting this decision and we hope that we will be able to do this.
– What does he face when expelling, why did he leave Uzbekistan?
– In 2008, when Ali lived in a small town with his wife, Uzbek security forces tried to recruit him, force him to report to young children from this city. He refused. After which he was tortured for two days, he was threatened, threatened his wife to rape her, for example. He told me: “I just realized on the second day of torture that they will not let me live.” And he agreed, they let him go, and he fled the republic. We know that already here in Russia, to his mother, Russian citizen, his sister, his brother, the Uzbek special services came and tried to find out his whereabouts. And we, of course, knowing that Uzbekistan is a totalitarian country where prisons are a completely impenetrable institution, people go in and just disappear, we are afraid that he will be taken into custody, that he will be tortured and that all this may end him death.
– There was information that Feruz was trying to commit suicide. Do you have any confirmation of this?
– It is really so, yes. We did not want to report this, because it’s very personal. But it’s true. Yesterday, when all of us were taken out of the courthouse, Ali stayed with the lawyer, the lawyer waited for papers, signed something, and Ali grabbed the pen and tried to open his veins. And he said at the same time: “I’d rather die than return to Uzbekistan.” He was immediately tied up by bailiffs, handcuffed and sent to a special detention center in Sakharov. Now we have no connection with him, of course, we are very scared, “concludes Elena Kostyuchenko.
This is the second detention of journalist Ali Feruza. The first time he was detained on March 16 at the entrance of his own house and taken to the police station. He was also accused of violating the regime of stay in Russia. In the evening of the same day, he became ill and was released from the site to the hospital.
The human rights organization Amnesty International urged the Russian authorities to reverse the decision on the deportation of Ali Feruza. In a statement that human rights defenders circulated on August 2, it says:
“Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence of torture and other human rights violations that Ali will face in Uzbekistan, the judge ruled to deport him. This is a completely wrong decision, it contradicts the total prohibition of torture and should be immediately abolished. ” AI Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia Denis Krivosheev said: “Ali Feruz is an open gay, human rights activist and correspondent for the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta.” It is an almost deadly combination for a person who must be transferred to Uzbekistan, where “sodomy” is a crime, and torture is systemic. ”
On August 3, Moscow journalists picket the administration of the Russian president in support of a colleague from the “Novaya Gazeta” newspaper. under the slogan & “Dismiss”.
On the eve of the action, the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta & quot; Dmitry Muratov appealed to the journalistic community and the Russian authorities:
Natalia Dzhanopoladova.
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