Governments in Central Asia continue to use, and some would say abuse, the right to appeal to international law enforcement agencies to apprehend citizens of Central Asian states who have fled their homeland and then were portrayed by their governments as criminals.
For example, there are hundreds of cases where Central Asian governments have alerted Interpol about their fugitive citizens and officially requested they be detained and extradited. In many cases the charges against these exiles are dubious. But even if they are not extradited, an Interpol warrant hinders exiles' movements and complicates efforts to make a new life in another country.
The University of Exeter's website hosts the Central Asian Political Exiles (CAPE) database, which looks at "the extra-territorial security measures deployed by the five Central Asian states and the human rights threats abuses and concerns faced by individuals in exile and opposition movements abroad."
Leading Central Asian scholars from several universities, and organizations such as Amnesty International, Fair Trials International, the Memorial human rights center, the Civic Assistance Committee, Human Rights Watch, and the Association for Human Rights in Central Asia take part in the project.
In late June, the updated findings of the project were presented at Chatham House, the U.K. Parliament, and the University of Exeter.
To learn more about what the project has found and revealed, RFE/RL media-relations manager Muhammad Tahir moderated a discussion on the CAPE project. Our guests were all involved in putting together the database.
From the University of Exeter we were joined by John Heathershaw, who is one of the directors of the CAPE project. Maisy Weicherding from Amnesty International also joined from the United Kingdom, while Natalia Gontsova of the Civic Assistance Committee participated from Moscow.
Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes.