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Russian Court To Hear Uzbek Man's Appeal Of Deportation

(epa) September 5, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- A Moscow court is expected to hear an appeal on September 6 by an Uzbek man threatened with deportation and sought in his home country for ties to an unregistered Islamic group.

Juraev was detained in Moscow in January. In March, he was denied refugee status, and a district court in Meschansky ruled to deport him on August 30.

The expulsion order came just hours after prosecutors rejected an Uzbek extradition request based on Juraev's suspected membership in the unregistered Islamic group "Tabligi Jamoat."

Officials of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees were reportedly only granted access to interview Juraev on September 4 regarding his six-month-old application for refugee status, filed in February.

He remains in a detention center for foreigners in the Russian capital.

Another Deportation

The Moscow-based human rights groups Memorial and Civic Assistance Committee have assisted Juraev since he fled to Russia in early 2006.

A press release from the Civic Assistance Committee claims Juraev's lawyer received notice on September 4 from the European Court of Human Rights saying the court had decided to order Russia to suspend its expulsion decision.

Another Uzbek citizen, Rustam Muminov, was forcefully returned to Uzbekistan in October despite a ruling by the same court ordering Russia not to hand him over.

Yelena Ryabinina, the Central Asia political refugee program director for Civic Assistance Committee, today told RFE/RL that Juraev could face torture or other mistreatment in Uzbekistan.

"I hope that in this case, the result will not be as sad as in Muminov's case," Ryabinina said.

Juraev, a native of Tashkent, was arrested in Uzbekistan in October 2004 on charges of participating in a banned organization. He was fined and released, but fled to Russia, fearing a second arrest.

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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