06MOSCOW12932, AN ENDGAME FOR DETAINED UZBEKS IN IVANOVO?

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW12932 2006-12-14 15:34 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5417
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #2932/01 3481534
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 141534Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5857
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 012932 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR PRM/ECA ETOURE AND EUR/RUS JGRONDELSKI 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/14/2016 
TAGS: PREF PHUM PREL RS
SUBJECT: AN ENDGAME FOR DETAINED UZBEKS IN IVANOVO? 
 
REF: A. STATE 196597 
     B. MOSCOW 12583 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Daniel A. Russell. 
Reasons 1.4 (b and d). 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY:  UNHCR is developing contingency plans for 
what may be a final GOR decision on 13 detained Uzbeks in 
Ivanovo.  Our UNHCR and NGO contacts do not have credible 
information on what the GOR may do, but they expect whatever 
decision has been made to be implemented as soon as December 
16, when the GOR would have to begin releasing the detainees. 
The Uzbeks' release is just one possibility in what has 
become a complex legal battle in Russian and international 
courts.  The Embassy has continued to demarche the GOR on 
these cases, most recently at the Assistant Secretary level 
on December 8.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (C)  UNHCR Senior Protection Officer Gang Li said 
December 14 that UNHCR has prepared contingency plans to 
respond to possible new developments in the cases of 13 
Uzbeks (12 citizens of Uzbekistan and 1 citizen of 
Kyrgyzstan), whose extradition has been requested by the 
Government of Uzbekistan.  Li said UNHCR understands that the 
13 could/could be released starting on or about December 16. 
According to UNHCR and others' interpretation of Russian law, 
detainees may only be held without charges for 180 days 
before they must be released.  This period for the Uzbek 
detainees ends between December 16 and December 20. 
 
OPTIONS AND PLANS 
----------------- 
 
3.  (C) Li said there are three likely options:  the Uzbeks 
would not be released, maintaining the status quo; they would 
be released and would be able to pursue resettlement to a 
third country; or they would be released but re-arrested with 
an aim to deport them.  Within each of these options, there 
are important legal questions that have to be considered. 
One such question is their status in Russia if they are 
released, because of the consequences it may have for final 
resolution of the case.  As of December 14, neither UNHCR nor 
the attorney handling their case had any information on what 
decision the GOR would make, Li said.  There had been 
contradictory signals given in other similar cases.  A court 
in Tyumen rejected the extradition of another Uzbek detainee 
recently, and he has approached UNHCR without any problems. 
A court in Lipetsk also ordered the release of an Uzbek, who 
was then arrested in Moscow and deported despite having an 
appeal of extradition pending. 
 
4.  (C) In the interim, UNHCR is working with the Uzbeks' 
attorney on other legal strategies intended to prevent their 
deportation.  The European Court of Human Rights has taken 
the case under consideration, resulting in an instruction to 
the GOR not to deport them, and Russian prosecutors have 
stayed the extradition order.  The recent Russian Supreme 
Court ruling on their case omitted any discussion of the 
legality of the extradition order issued by the Procurator 
General, only commenting on the legality of the procedures 
followed in issuing the order.  Li said that once the ruling 
is released, there may be grounds for a further appeal 
seeking to nullify the order itself.  In a separate process, 
the Uzbeks have filed a request for temporary asylum in 
Russia on the grounds they would be persecuted if returned. 
The Federal Migration Service has rejected their request, but 
a local court in Ivanovo has ordered FMS to review its 
decision, citing the risk of future persecution. 
 
5.  (C) Li told us that if the Uzbeks are released, UNHCR 
will act immediately to try to move them to Sweden, which has 
already agreed to accept them as refugees.  UNHCR's key 
objective will be to ensure that they have some legal status 
in Russia so they can receive exit permission from the GOR as 
well as to protect them from arrest for being in Russia 
illegally.  UNHCR has advised the detainees to apply for a 
residency permit as soon as they are released, both to 
facilitate exit permission and to minimize the chance of 
their arrest as "illegal migrants."  Without legal status, 
they could be deported for administrative violations of the 
Law on Foreigners, in spite of the on-going court 
consideration of the extradition. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
6.  (C) Like our colleagues at UNHCR and in the NGO 
community, we cannot predict what the GOR will decide to do, 
and the outcomes of similar cases have been mixed.  Thus far 
at least, the GOR's approach seems to be to let this play out 
 
MOSCOW 00012932  002 OF 002 
 
 
through the legal system.  Our demarches have relied on 
reminding Russia of its international obligations under the 
Convention on Refugees and Convention Against Torture.  While 
continuing to make the point on torture and the GOU's lack of 
credible assurances that prisoners will be treated in 
accordance with international standards, the Embassy has been 
emphasizing the importance of allowing the Uzbeks to pursue 
their appeals (refs A and B).  A court-ordered release would 
send a
n important and welcome signal, not only for rule of 
law in Russia, but to other countries in the region facing 
similar extradition requests. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

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