Wednesday, June 20, 2012 -
A UN body issued a statement on Wednesday condemning Kazakhstan for expelling Uzbek nationals attempting to gain asylum in the country.
The statement was published on the site of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture, a France-based group which brought the case before the UN Committee against Torture.
The UN body ordered Kazakhstan to request the return of the Uzbeks and provide them with compensation, for placing the Uzbeks in circumstances in which they were likely to be tortured.
Kazakh officials maintained that they had secured an agreement with the Uzbek regime that those deported to Uzbekistan would not be harmed.
Kazakhstan extradited 29 Uzbek nationals in June 2011 after refusing to grant them asylum.
The men spent a year in an Almaty detention center after fleeing Uzbekistan, while Uzbek authorities demanded their return for alleged links with radical Islamic groups.
The detainees were sent back after the Almaty Appeals Court upheld a decision by Kazakh Migration Services to refuse refugee status.