Ermakov, Azamatzhon

State of concern: .
Original citizenship: .
Alleged affiliation: Akramiya.
Which stages experienced: Stage 1   Stage 2   Stage 3
Class of most serious incident: .
Date of most serious incident: 2012.
Countries of transit, asylum and/or residence: .
Exiled? Yes.
Category of exile: .

Who, Why and How exiled: Lived in Andijan region of Uzbekistan until 2009. In 1995 he started performing Salah and attending a mosque. He avoided the initial crackdown in Andijan following the 2005 uprising. However, he stated that in March 2009 he learned of the arrest of a neighbour with whom he had regularly performed Salah. Being aware of the widespread practice of torture in detention in Uzbekistan, he decided to leave the country for fear of arrest on fabricated charges and torture in custody. He fled to Russia. (ECHR,2013)

Stage 1 details (accusations/ charges/ Interpol notice/ extradition requests): The Uzbek authorities brought charges against Ermakov in September 2009 related to setting up a criminal group and attempting to overthrow the constitutional order of the Uzbek State. The first statement of charges outlined Uzbek State policy in the sphere of the fight against religious extremism and referred to the events of 2005 in the Fergana Valley as an armed attempt to seize State power conducted by members of the extremist movement “Akromiya” with the assistance of international terrorist forces and “under the influence of certain States". Accused of seeking to study the literature of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). (ECHR, 2013)

Stage 2 details (arrest/ detention/ extradition): Arrested by Russian police on 14 November 2009 on an Uzbek extradition request. On 12 April 2010 the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office ordered the extradition of the applicant to Uzbekistan, which was upheld by a regional court in July. On 22 September 2010 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation also rejected Ermakov's appeal against the judgment. He was placed under house arrest on 13 May 2011, pending extradition to Uzbekistan ( Pravo.ru, 2013). He was then arrested in July 2011 on possession of a handgrendade which he claims was planted by police and sentenced to 16 months imprisonment. Held in SIZO detention facility until 2 November 2012 (ECHR,  2013). Ermakov appears to have at some point been placed on Interpol Red Notice list. According to an undated reply by the Russian National Central Interpol Bureau, “... on 1 December 2012 the applicant’s name was deleted from the Interpol Wanted Fugitives list because of his arrest. On the basis of that information, the search for the applicant in Russia was also discontinued.”(ECHR,  2013)

Stage 3 details (attack/ abduction/ rendition/ torture/ assassination/ death): Ermakov was released from SIZO-1 at 6 a.m. on 2 November 2012 and given his passport. His lawyer visited at 8am and was not told of his release. Ermakov did not contact his representatives. He departed Moscow at 11.45p.m for Tashkent, Uzbekistan. His transit to Domodedvo Airport in Moscow has not been explained. On 18 December 2012 Ermakov's lawyers submitted that he was being held in detention in Andijan, Uzbekistan, but stressed that no official confirmation of that information was available. The Uzbek government would not confirm his whereabouts.(ECHR, 2013)

Legal status (refugee/ asylum seeker/ resident): Issued with a temporary residence permit in Russia in July 2009, valid until August 2012. First applied for refugee status in Russia in December 2009, but was repeatedly denied for not meeting the criteria. (ECHR, 2013)

Current status: Detained in Uzbekistan. There has been an open amnesty campaign in his name since March 2013 (Amnesty International, 2013). The ECHR ruled in 2013 that Russia was in violation of Article 3 of the Convention (protection against torture) due to their failure to protect Ermakov against "a real and imminent risk of torture and ill‑treatment by preventing his forcible transfer from Russia to Uzbekistan". It also ruled that it was clear that Ermakov could not have crossed the State border freely and unaccompanied and thus chose to believe Ermakov's version of events. Critically, it also ruled that "his transfer through the Russian State border at Domodedovo Airport took place with the authorisation, or at least acquiescence, of the State agents in charge of the airport"(ECHR, 2013)

Press sources: Amnesty International, Urgent Action: Uzbekistani National at Risk of Torture, UA 330:12, March 13, 2013. [Online]. Available at: http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/uaa33012_1.pdf; Murat Sadykov, 'Uzbekistan: No Former Soviet State a Safe Place for Uzbek Refugees,' Eurasianet, April 24, 2013. [Online]. Available at: http://www.eurasianet.org/node/66873. Pravo, ru., 'Как Россия потеряла узбека со сверхспособностями'. [Online]. Available at: https://pravo.ru/story/view/90509/

Legal sources: European Court of Human Rights, Case of Ermakov v. Russia. Judgment, November 7, 2013.[Online]. Available at:  http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-127816