RUSSIA. UZBEK DEPORTED DESPITE APPEALS
October 25, 2006: Russia has deported an Uzbek man to his Central Asian homeland, defying pressure from activists who said he could face execution at home, his supporters said.
Amnesty International urged Russia this week not to extradite Rustam Muminov who is accused of terrorism in Uzbekistan. But a court in Moscow has ordered his deportation due to his failure to present a Russian residency permit.
"This is outrageous. He's been sent to Tashkent," Svetlana Gannushkina, a leading Russian refugee rights activist, told Reuters.
"We've lost contact with him now. He is accused of so many things that he will probably be either sentenced to a life in prison or face death penalty. It's needless to say the case has been fabricated."
Uzbekistan's general prosecutor's office was not available for comment.
The West has accused Uzbekistan, an authoritarian Central Asian state, of jailing thousands of dissidents and using torture in prison.
Facing a barrage of international criticism, some Uzbek officials have in the past admitted a few cases of torture in local jails but categorically denied a special United Nations report saying that Uzbekistan's use of torture was systematic.
Muminov moved to Russia in 2000 and worked as a children's cook in the town of Lipetsk before opening a restaurant, Gannushkina said.
At home, he is accused of being a member of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, an Islamic group banned in Russia and Central Asia. (Sources: Reuters, 25/10/2006)