Stop the deportation of journalist Ali Feruz, save him from imprisonment and torture!
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On August 1st our friend and colleague, the Novaya Gazeta journalist Ali Feruz was sentenced to the deportation from Russia to his home country Uzbekistan, where he will be put in prison and tortured.
The journalist was arrested in the Basmanny Court of Moscow and was later sent to the prison for foreigners awaiting deportation, despite his legal status to be in Russia, as his asylum procedure wasn't finished.
Ali, whose real name is Khudoberdi Nurmatov, wants to live in Russia, but the migration service consistently refuses to give him an asylum in Russia, although Ali has been living in the country for more than 6 years and his mother and other relatives are holding Russian passports.
The problem is that Ali doesn't have his Uzbek's passport, as it was stolen several years ago. The Russian migration service says: 'Go to Uzbekistan and get the passport'.
However, Ali had to flee Uzbekistan, because his life was in danger after he had refused to work with local secret service, which tried to recruit him. We believe that in Uzbekistan Ali might be persecuted for his investigative reporting and his active citizenship.
Human rights advocates recognize Uzbekistan as a dangerous country, where people are getting abused and disappear in prisons. Beyond that Ali will be persecuted for being openly gay.
The court sentence can be appealed within 10 days. We have to act fast!
We demand to stop the procedure of Ali Feruz deportation to Uzbekistan, to give him a legal status, which will allow him to stay in Russia, or to allow him to leave Russia for a member country of Council of Europe, which will be ready to accept him.
We ask Russian Human Rights Ombudsperson and the head of the Russian presidential Council on Human Rights to take this case under their personal control.
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