Riccardo Noury: Kazakhstan hunts for opponents and Spain agrees with it
© mukhtarablyazov.org 27.11.2013

After having inflicted torture on Mukhtar Ablyazov, currently detained in France, and whose wife and daughter have been deported and repatriated, the government of Kazakhstan is continuing with its hunt for oppositionists in Europe.

source: lepersoneeladignita.corriere.it

Last Wednesday, the Spanish Supreme Court granted an extradition request with regard to Aleksandr Pavlov, Ablyazov’s former chief security officer, who fled from his homeland in 2009, and who is currently seeking political asylum in Spain.

Audiencia Nacional’s decision to extradite Pavlov, a political asylum seeker, in spite of evidence suggesting that he could be subjected to torture in his homeland, contravenes relevant international law. Amnesty International has petitioned for its annulment and awaits a final decision which will be made by the council of ministers.

“If Spain extradites Aleksandr Pavlov, it will do so whilst aware of the fact that he will come to harm. The Spanish government should not render him to Kazakhstan, even if the authorities of that country diplomatically guarantee that, once repatriated, he will not be tortured, mistreated or subjected to an unjust trial” – stated the human rights organisation.

Torture and mistreatment are common methods of interrogation in Kazakhstan, inflicted as a form of punishment upon sentenced prisoners.

Aleksandr Pavlov was arrested in December 2012, after his name had been added to Interpol’s international wanted list at the request of the Kazakh authorities.

Subsequently, Kazakh authorities requested his extradition, which was granted by the Second Penal Section of Audiencia Nacional on July 23, and later endorsed by a plenary session of the court on November 8.

In Kazakhstan, Aleksandr Pavlov is accused of “expropriation or embezzlement of entrusted property” and of “planning a terrorist attack”, accusations which he claims to be without basis.

Amnesty International has followed several legal procedures against political activists and the civil society of Kazakhstan, as a result of their dissenting opinions and their links with Mukhtar Ablyazov. These procedures were not carried out in accordance with international standards of just trial, and political pressure is believed to have played a significant role in the ensuing convictions.

Tatiana Paraskevich, another individual linked to Ablyazov, is currently being detained in the Czech Republic. Along with Ablyazov, she is at risk of being extradited to Ukraine or Russia, from where – in the name of close cooperation in the sphere of security amongst former USSR countries (in the photo, the Kazakh president Nazarbayev and the Russian president Putin) – she will probably be rendered to Kazakhstan and be subjected to serious human rights violations.

Amnesty International has called upon the government of Prague not to proceed with the deportation.

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