Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
KAZAKHSTAN (ANS) -- Uzbekistan is trying to extradite a detained UNHCR recognized refugee from Kazakhstan on charges which carry a maximum 15 year jail term.
UNHCR is the United Nations refugee agency. Kazakhstan is in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Uzbekistan is in Central Asia.
According to a story by Felix Corley of the Forum 18 News Service, Makset Djabbarbergenov, a Protestant who fled to Kazakhstan is being sought by Uzbekistan for exercising freedom of religion or belief in his home town of Nukus.
Forum 18 said an Oct. 15 court decision in Kazakh authorised further incarceration until Nov. 5. The Kazakh court also claimed that the Uzbek charges - which seek to prosecute the exercising freedom of religion or belief - can be equated to terrorism-related charges in Kazakh law.
Djabbarbergenov's wife has been stopped by Kazakh authorities from visiting him, she told Forum 18 News Service, as has a human rights defender who found he is being held in solitary confinement. The Supreme Court claims it cannot find an appeal he lodged in August.
In addition, Forum 18 reported, Kazakhstan has yet to reply to a finding of the UN Committee Against Torture that it violated human rights obligations by extraditing to Uzbekistan a group of Muslim refugees and asylum seekers.
Kazakhstan's current bid to join the UN Human Rights Council claims it would, if elected, "enhance the credibility and effectiveness of the Human Rights Council."
For more information go to www.forum18.org