Amnesty International is requesting Russia overturn a decision to deport a gay journalist to Uzbekistan.
Khudoberdi Nurmatov, better known under his pen name, Ali Feruz, is a correspondent for independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta in Moscow. Feruz originally fled Uzbekistan in 2009 after facing detention and torture. The Uzbekistani National Security Service tried to force him to become a secret informer. He moved there at 17 and became an Uzbekistani national.
Feruz made it back to Russia, where he was born and grew up, in 2011. He reportedly sought asylum and refugee status multiple times, which Russian immigration authorities denied.
Last night, however, a Russian judge order Feruz’s deportation. The reason is violating ‘the rules of entry or stay in the Russian Federation by a foreign citizen’.
Sodomy is a crime in Uzbekistan
Amnesty International is concerned about what Feruz will face upon return to Uzbekistan.
‘Ali Feruz is openly gay, a human rights activist and a correspondent for the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper,’ Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Deputy Director said in a statement. ‘This is a near-lethal combination for someone who is about to be handed over to Uzbekistan, where ‘sodomy’ is a crime and torture is endemic. In spite of overwhelming evidence of the risks of torture and other human rights violations that Ali Feruz would face in Uzbekistan, the judge still ruled that he should be deported.’
Krivosheev continued strongly: ‘This utterly erroneous decision contravenes the absolute prohibition of torture and must be immediately overturned.’
Gay Star News reached out to Amnesty International for more information.