UN reportedly asks Ukraine not to extradite former Tajik prime minister

01/03/2013 11:05
Asia-Plus
Views: 11107

DUSHANBE, March 1, 2013, Asia-Plus – Interfax-Ukraine reported on February 28 that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expects Ukraine to reject the extradition request and release former Tajikistani Prime Minister Abdumalik Abdullojonov, who was detained at Borispol Airport on February 5, 2013.

According to Interfax-Ukraine, press release issued by the UNHCR Regional Representation and made available to Interfax-Ukraine, in particular, says, “The Regional Representation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees encourages the Ukrainian authorities to extend protection to a U.S. recognized refugee who was detained at Borispol Airport on February 5, 2013, in response to an Interpol red flag.”

Interfax-Ukraine notes that the statement does not name this person, but says that he is currently being held under temporary arrest while the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office is considering the request for his extradition.

“UNHCR remains confident that Ukraine will decline the extradition request and release this individual as soon as possible, in accordance with its obligations under international law,” the statement said.

The office reportedly said that in accordance with international and Ukrainian law, refugee status has an international character, that is if one state recognizes a person as a refugee, then other states shall respect that determination and extend protection.

“Crucially, that protection shall include prevention of refoulement, i.e., forcible return to an individual’s country of origin where it has been determined that he would face a well-founded fear of persecution,” UNHCR said, according to Interfax-Ukraine.

We will recall that Abdumalik Abdullojonov was arrested at Borispol Airport near Kiev on February 5 on an international warrant after arriving from the United States.

The Borispol court ruled on February 7 that former Tajik Prime Minister Abdumalik Abdullojonov can be held in detention for up to 40 days while authorities await documents from Dushanbe regarding his possible extradition.

The Prosecutor-General’s Office of Tajikistan sent an extradition request for former Tajik Prime Minister Abdumalik Abdullojonov to the Ukrainian authorities on February 18.

Meanwhile, Abdullojonov’s defense lawyer, Andrey Fedur, said that if extradited, Abdullojonov's life would be in danger.

Abdumalik Abdullojonov, who challenged Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in the 1994 presidential election, is accused by the Tajik authorities of involvement in a 1996 assassination attempt on President Rahmon.  He is also accused of backing a 1998 militant attack in Sughd province, and of organized crime and terrorism-related offenses.

For the past decade, Abdullojonov has lived in the United States.

Post new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Comments

News no