View Adopted: 2022.03.24
The author is a national of Russia and an ethnic Ingush from North Ossetia-Alania. In 2017 the author was granted his request for interim measures and Ukraine was asked not to extradite him while the communication was being considered by the Committee. Despite the Committee’s request the author was extradited to Russia in 2018.
In 2014 the author traveled from Russia to Georgia and subsequently to Turkey. In 2016 the author was apprehended in the international airport of Kharkiv in Ukraine based on an INTERPOL search warrant issued by Russia, where he was accused of several terrorism-related crimes. The author was placed in detention in Kharkiv pending the extradition request from Russia. The documents annexed to the extradition request indicated that the author left Georgia around November 2014 and proceeded to the Syrian Arab Republic, where he joined an unlawful armed formation, “Islamic State”, and participated in military attacks by this formation. The author appealed against the extradition decision and submitted two consecutive applications for asylum, stating that his prosecution in Russia was motivated by ethnic and religious grounds as he was an ethnic Ingush who lived in the North Ossetia [where the majority are Christians] and a practising Muslim. He claimed that if he was extradited to Russia, he would be tortured for crimes that he had not committed. The author’s applications were rejected by the national jurisdictions as unsubstantiated. His complaints to the courts were dismissed owing to the lack of evidence of persecution on grounds of race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, belonging to a social group or political reasons that would support his claim for international protection.
The author claimed that his extradition to Russia from Ukraine would violate his rights under article 7 (torture) of the Covenant.
The Committee noted that the author had exhausted all available domestic remedies as he made use of two parallel domestic procedures, namely contesting his extradition and applying for asylum. The Committee then noted that none of the author’s claims concerning his previous persecution on religious grounds had been substantiated. The only document supporting the author’s claims submitted to the Committee and, seemingly, to the domestic courts was a letter from his sister, in which he only mentioned that he was regularly harassed by the Federal Security Service of Russia and threatened with detention and that his house was searched. The State party’s authorities addressed and rebutted his allegations. The Committee found that the author had failed to substantiate the reasons why he feared that his extradition to Russia would result in a risk of treatment contrary to article 7 of the Covenant. The Committee thus found the communication inadmissible under article 2 of the Optional Protocol for lack of substantiation.
The Committee member Hélène Tigroudja issued an individual opinion partly dissenting from the Committee’s findings. She agreed with the inadmissibility of the complaint for lack of substantiation, however, held that the Committee cannot formally adopt a decision of inadmissibility after the State party had violated its obligation in respect of the interim measures. Instead, the Committee should adopt Views or another type of decision rejecting, as inadmissible, the substantive claims of the author, but upholding the violation of article 1 of the Optional Protocol.
By: Anna Gorodetskaya