Slovakia: Halt imminent extradition of Chechen asylum seeker to Russia

The Slovak authorities must immediately halt the imminent extradition of an ethnic Chechen asylum-seeker to Russia, a country where he will face the risk of torture, said Amnesty International.

Anzor Chentiev could be sent back to Russia as early as this afternoon, after fighting his extradition in Slovakia for more than eight years. He is facing terrorism-related charges in Russia.

“Returning a person to a country where they are known to be at risk of torture is a shocking contempt of human rights and international obligations,” said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Programme Director for Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International.

“The Slovak authorities cannot abdicate their responsibility to provide Anzor Chentiev with safety when they know that if they return him to Russia he will face the risk of torture or other ill-treatment. The extradition proceedings must be halted immediately, before it is too late.”

Amnesty International launched an appeal urging the Slovak Minister of Interior and the Minister of Justice to halt the extradition.

Background information

Anzor Chentiev applied for asylum in Slovakia after he arrived in the country in 2006.  According to his lawyer, he was placed in detention in connection with the extradition request from the Russian Federation, and spent almost nine years on remand.

In January 2014 Anzor Chentiev suddenly dropped his asylum claim and indicated that he wanted to be returned to Russia.

The Slovak authorities have since commenced the extradition proceedings.

On 3 June 2014, Anzor Chentiev re-applied for asylum in Slovakia. According to his lawyer, he had discontinued his initial proceedings after suffering psychological problems as a result of nine years in detention, duress and threats he and his family had received.

Under international law, Slovakia has an absolute and unconditional obligation not to deport, expel, return or extradite any person to a country where they risk serious human rights abuses, including torture and other ill-treatment.