Letter to Prime Minister of Slovakia- Stop Violance of All Norms of European Civilization!
The Honorable Mr. Robert Fico,
Prime Minister of Slovakia
Úrad vlády Slovenskej republiky
Námestie slobody 1
813 70 Bratislava
Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
We, the members of the Independent International Human Rights Group, got outraged when we have learned that your country is going to extradite the applicant for asylum, a refugee from Chechnya Anzor Chentiev, back to Russia. We are shocked of this decision’s cynicism. Anzor Chentiev spent 9 years in a Slovakian prison for not committed crimes, and instead of being released, he is about to be handed over to Russia – this is the culmination of inhumanity, injustice and the violation of all norms of European civilization!
At a time when the international community condemns Russia for all new blatant violations of international law in its aggressive actions against Ukraine, you anyway decided to hand over to Russia the Chechen man, who has been severely persecuted in Russia on political and ethnic grounds and thus reached your country in his last hope of saving his life. And this decision you made being completely aware you would give an innocent man in the hands of the executioners of the Chechen people, who inevitably will perform their “job.” However, in this case you will not be able to claim that your hands are not stained with his blood.
You probably thought that your complicity in a would-be crime against Anzor Chentiev’s life would go unnoticed, as the issue of Russian war crimes in Chechnya and the terror against the Chechens, imposed by Putin and his puppet, Kadyrov, as well as the FSB of the Russian Federation, – completely disappeared from the attention of the world media, human rights organizations and the international policy agenda. And being confident that your crime against the life of an asylum seeker who is threatened with terrible death in sadistic torture would not get publicity, you are committing it, obviously, in order to get some benefits from Russia. In other words, you turn the victim of the genocidal war waged by the Putin regime in Chechnya, in bargaining chips with the bloody executioners.
If Anzor Chentiev be killed, it will rest with your conscience, and we will do everything to make your offense get publicity!
Chechens extradited from abroad, are particularly at risk. They are being abducted directly on the landing of the aircraft at the airport, and they disappear into the bowels of the FSB. Most would not even see their relatives who would come to the airport to meet them.
Here are just two recent examples of what happened to the Chechens, extradited back to Russia or had come on their own, deceived by Putin-Kadyrov endlessly lying about “normalization” in Chechnya.
18.05.2013 Zaur Uzuev left Chechnya for Turkey because of the threat to his life. 23.05.2013 Zaur was arrested by the Turkish authorities and forcibly put on the plane from Istanbul to Grozny.
When the plane landed at the airport in Grozny, Zaur without explanation was abducted by people in masks and camouflage uniforms in front of his parents who came to meet him. He was taken to an unknown direction. On the evening of the day Zaur was thrown back near his home, beaten, tortured and intimidated. He told his parents he had been beaten, tortured with electric shocks and forced to sign a blank sheet, as well as several other documents, unknown to him.
14.08.2013 Zaur Uzuev got missing. He was not found until the parents got just a photo of his corpse. They did not get even his corpse to bury according to the Chechen traditions.
Second example. Suleiman Edigov, who had refugee status in Sweden, came to visit relatives in Chechnya. He was arrested August 3, 2013 in Chechnya and accused, of course, without any evidence, in the “murder of a police officer.” But Judge Abubakarov who judged in his trial, made exclusively brave act in the conditions of severe dictatorship. He publicly announced that Edigov was tortured to extort his confession. Moreover, the Judge said that he has been called on the phone by, in his words,” someone who introduced himself as the Minister of Internal Affairs of Chechnya”, and this man strongly recommended him, the Judge, to convict Edigov. The Judge said that, whether guilty or not guilty verdict, the trial anyway is biased and so he refuses to continue the process. Judge was replaced, the process continued and eventually Edigov was sentenced to 15 years.
Will you agree with Anzor had such a fate? Is Anzor a criminal? Did he break the Law in Slovakia? If so, try him there, in Slovakia, but do not give him into the hands of the executioners to die – it is contrary to all the principles of the European civilization. Your actions are reminiscent of actions of those who handed over the Jews to Gestapo during the Holocaust era.
But we hope that you will read this letter with the striking examples of the realities of today’s Russia and therefore change your mind and cancel the extradition of Anzor Chentiev to inevitable death.
Hoping for your understanding and cooperation -
Nadezhda Banchik, journalist, human rights activist, USA;
Victoria Pupko, Anna Politkovskaya Foundation, USA;
Said-Emin Ibragimov, the International Association “Peace and Human Rights”, France;
David Kudykov, writer, Britain;
Mayrbek Taramov, Chechen Human Rights Center, Sweden;
Elena Maglevannaya, human rights activist, Finland;
Maiu Plado, human rights activist, Estonia
15th of June, 2014