On 17 July 2018, an ethnic Ingush, Aslan Yandiev was extradited from Slovakia to Russian Federation. Amnesty International, the Human Rights League and International Partnership for Human Rights consider that the extradition violated Slovakia’s obligations not to put persons within its jurisdiction at risk of torture and other ill-treatment, and to guarantee the right to a fair trial.
Amnesty International, the Human Rights League and International Partnership for Human Rights as well as Lukáš Opett, the lawyer representing Aslan Yandiev in extradition proceedings in Slovakia, note that Slovak authorities carried out the extradition in reliance on diplomatic assurances given by the Russian authorities that Mr Yandiev would not be tortured and/or ill-treated on return.
The organizations are concerned that the extradition was carried out:
- in breach of international law, in particular the prohibition of refoulement;
- in a non-transparent manner: the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice were unable to provide any information on the state of the extradition and Mr Yandiev’s whereabouts to the NGOs and the lawyer working on Mr Yandiev’s case;
- without the necessary safeguards: on 13 July, the Constitutional Court received a request for interim measures from the lawyers of Mr Yandiev. The lawyers were not given any information on whether or not the Constitutional Court assessed the request by 17 July.
The organizations are deeply concerned that Aslan Yandiev is at grave risk of torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment following his extradition to Russian Federation. According to information available to Amnesty International, he is held in the Vladikavkaz pre-trial detention centre where the organization documented frequent use of torture to extract “confessions”. Following the 1992 ethnic conflict between Ossetians and Ingush people in Russia’s North Caucasus, persons of Ingush ethnicity, such as Aslan Yandiev, are often treated in a discriminatory way in North Ossetia.
Amnesty International, the Human Rights League and International Partnership for Human Rights urge the Slovak authorities to carry out a rigorous monitoring of the conditions of Mr Yandiev’s detention in the Russian Federation. Furthermore, to ensure independent and transparent monitoring of the commitment that Mr Yandiev would be protected from torture and ill-treatment in Russian Federation, the organizations call on the authorities to involve human rights NGOs in the monitoring and to make its outcomes public.
Read the full letter here.