by Zaynab M. Dost

Stop Uzbek Amnesty
Photo: AI

Amnesty International, an international human rights NGO, advises against the detention of Uzbek journalist Khudoberdi Nurmatov (also known by name Ali Feruz)  by the Russian authorities.  Amnesty’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia, Denis Krivosheev, said Moscow must release the journalist and ensure his safety and protection.

Khudoberdi Nurmatov was arrested in Russia due to absence of passport and valid work permit. He was working for a Russian newspaper “Novaya Gazeta” as a freelancer until he was detained by the immigration control police.  On August 1, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court ordered that Nurmatov should be expelled from Russia. In response, openly gay Nurmatov said he fears for his life if deported to Uzbekistan.

The media coverage of the case prompted the Russian court to postpone the deportation of Nurmatov to Uzbekistan where homosexuality is banned by law. It was decided that Nurmatov will not be deported from Russia until the European Court of Human Rights considers the merits of his complaint.  The journalist remains at a temporary detention center for foreign citizens.