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HRC: Risks of torture and inhuman treatment are absolutely neglected when examining the extradition issue of Ramzan Akhyadov to the Russian Federation

24.09.2019

 
On September 19, the Government of Georgia satisfied the request of the Russian Federation on the extradition of Ramzan Akhyadov, ethnic Chechen citizen of Georgia, who is accused of terrorism and was sought by International Police. 

According to the HRC, the decision of the Government of Georgia shall be evaluated as the violation of universally declared human rights and freedoms. The organization believes the GoG incorrectly assessed and neglected the possible risks of torture and inhuman treatment of Ramzan Akhyadov when examining his case of extradition. In doing so, the GoG violated the Georgian legislation and its internationally acknowledged obligations, which imperatively excludes extradition of a person in similar circumstances. 

Ramzan Akhyadov denied all accusations on terrorism and spoke about politically motivated persecution because of his public criticism of Ramzan Kadirov, President of Chechnya. Consequently, the detainee and his defense lawyer always spoke about the high risk of torture and inhuman treatment in case of his extradition to Russia. 

Ramzan Akhyadov petitioned the Migration Department of the Georgian MIA and requested refugee status in Georgia. The Department did not satisfy his application and the court also upheld the decision.

The decisions of the city and supreme courts of Georgia on the extradition of Akhyadov were also insufficiently verified, which do not assess the possible risks of torture and inhuman treatment. As a result, on September 19, 2019, the GoG enforced the final judgment of the Supreme Court of Georgia, satisfied the claim of the Russian Federation and extradited R. Akhyadov to Russia. 

HRC believes that the Migration Department of MIA and the common courts of Georgia did not comprehensively and impartially examined the case and did not correctly evaluate the risks. 

When examining an extradition case, beyond the context and gravity of the accusation, the risks of possible torture and inhuman treatment shall be properly evaluated. The Tbilisi City Court clarified in its judgment that the applicant had not provided enough evidence to convince the court that in case of extradition he might become subject of violation of the Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Moreover, the court mentioned the written guarantees of the Prosecutor General of Russia and indicated at international obligations of the Russian Federation in front of various international acts and conventions. 

While international and Russian human rights organizations, US State Department and independent media organizations actively report about grave human rights state, politically motivated murders, disappearances and unbearable conditions in penitentiary establishments in Russia, the abovementioned bodies in Georgia did not take any concerns into account when examining the case of Ramzan Akhyadov and trusted the written letter of the Prosecutor General of Georgia. The state bodies of Georgia forgot that although Russia has acknowledged its obligations in front of the international acts and conventions, the European Court of Human Rights has passed many judgments against Russia, where violations of the Articles 3 and 4 of the Convention are determined. Consequently, the GoG could not trust Russia’s respect to its international obligations and the court and the Ministry of Justice should have carefully examined the concrete case and made decision in respect to the international law. 

HRC believes that the government bodies of Georgia neglected the risks of possible torture and inhuman treatment of Ramzan Akhyadov in case of his extradition and his immediate extradition breached the absolute right to be protected from torture and inhuman treatment and contradicts the Constitution of Georgia as well as other international obligations of Georgia.

HRC calls on the Minister of Justice of Georgia Thea Tsulukiani to obtain trustworthy and detailed information how the Prosecutor General of Russia implements his written guarantees and provide the Georgian society with the received information. HRC calls on all respective bodies of Georgia to prevent similar instrumentalization of human rights and never try to enhance relations between the countries through violation of human rights. Respect of human rights is the constitutional obligation of every government. 

Human Rights Center will continue monitoring of Ramzan Akhyadov’s case within its mandate and calls on the Ministry of Justice and common courts to be more careful when examining similar cases in future and respect universally declared constitutional rights and freedoms. 

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