Statement on the extradition of tajik activist Nizomiddin Nasriddin from Belarus

Human Constanta
31 July 2023

On July 24, it became known that activist Nizomiddin Nasriddinov was extradited from Belarus to Tajikistan, where he faces serious risk of torture due to his political beliefs. There is no information available about Nizomiddin’s current situation in Tajikistan.

Nizomiddin was detained in Belarus on January 8, 2023, and was held in custody. On February 21, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Belarus decided to extradite Nizomiddin to Tajikistan. This decision was appealed in court. However, the appeal was not successful.

On May 13, while being held in custody awaiting extradition, Nizomiddin appealed to the Belarusian authorities requesting international protection in Belarus. Nizomiddin has already been recognised as a refugee in Germany since 2017. This confirms that he faces politically motivated persecution, an unfair trial, and serious risk of torture in his home country. Despite numerous reports and statements from international organisations about widespread human rights violations and politically motivated persecution of government critics in Tajikistan, on June 30, Nizomiddin’s request for protection in Belarus was denied. Before the expiration of the legal deadline for appeal in Belarus, he was transferred to Tajikistan, effectively depriving him of the opportunity to appeal the denial of protection.

Human Constanta believes that the extradition of Nasriddinov to Tajikistan not only violates Belarus’s international legal obligations concerning the absolute prohibition of torture but also undermines procedural guarantees provided to all asylum seekers, particularly the right to appeal the denial of protection.

Belarusian authorities have a history of disregarding serious risks of torture and extraditing individuals in violation of national legislation and international agreements. In 2017, Murad Amriev was handed over to Russian authorities despite substantial concerns that he would be subjected to torture and cruel treatment upon arrival in the Chechen Republic. In 2020, Belarus also refused to provide protection and extradited Hicri Mamas to Turkey, despite the interim measures issued by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the request to refrain from extraditing Hicri until a final decision was made in his case.

In view of the above, Human Constanta calls for the following:

  • Belarusian authorities should provide a legal assessment of the actions of the officials who violated Nizomiddin Nasriddinov’s rights and take measures to restore these rights by providing an effective means of legal protection;
  • Belarusian authorities must faithfully uphold their commitments in the field of human rights protection, particularly regarding protection against torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, the right to seek asylum, and the right to appeal decisions made;
  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees should offer its protection to Nizomiddin Nasriddinov on the territory of Tajikistan or any other country and facilitate his return to Germany;
  • German authorities should take effective measures to protect Nizomiddin Nasriddinov while he is in Tajikistan and ensure his immediate return to Germany.
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