Governments in the former Soviet Union are routinely flouting European and international rules designed to protect refugees, asylum seekers and others who are at risk of persecution in their home countries, says a new Foreign Policy Centre publication entitled Shelter from the Storm? The publication shows that Commonwealth of Independent States member countries are putting regional ties and alleged security concerns ahead of their duties to prevent individuals being returned to face possible torture and other human rights abuses. It shows how the European Court of Human Rights can be a lifeline for those facing extradition to Central Asia, but also that Russia has flouted some judgements and extradited individuals to places such as Uzbekistan where torture and other abuse is believed to be rife.
Shelter from the Storm? reports cases where Central Asian activists have been kidnapped on foreign soil by their governments, or illegally extradited with the collusion of the Russian security services. It shows the ways in which governments from across the former Soviet Union seek to harass activists in exile through surveillance and the abuse of Interpol procedures. The publication also shows that tougher immigration rules in Europe are making it harder for at-risk activists to seek short-term refuge without applying for asylum and that asylum seekers from Russia, Central Asia and the South Caucasus face uneven treatment depending on where they make their claims.
Shelter from the Storm? The asylum, refuge and extradition situation facing activists from the former Soviet Union in the CIS and Europe contains contributions from experts including: Felix Corley (Forum 18); Elisabeth Dyvik (ICORN - The International Cities of Refuge Network); Julia Hall and Maisy Weicherding (Amnesty International); Adam Hug (ed., Foreign Policy Centre); Dr David Lewis (University of Exeter); Kris Pollett and Claire Rimmer Quaid (European Council on Refugees and Exiles - ECRE); Alex Tinsley (Fair Trials International); and Daria Trenina (MGIMO-University).