Who, Why and How exiled: 19 Uzbek nationals belonging to four families (Anvar Ghorbanov, Nasibeh Ghorbanova, Nadereh Ghorbanova, Omokolsoum Ghorbanova, Mohammad Ghorbanov, Ibrahim Ghorbanov, Ologhbeig Rahmanov, Tajkhan Rahmanova, Ameneh Rahmanova, Mohammadali Rahmanov, Maryam Rahmanova, Fatima Rahmanova, Zehra Rahmanova, Oktamjan Rahmanov, Sedaghat Rahmanova, Rahimeh Rahmanova, Marziyeh Rahmanova, Zaher Tordiev and Maheireh Tordieva), of which 12 were minors at the time of the events of 2008. The families lived in Andijan but decided to leave Uzbekistan as a result of increasing State pressure on those who practised Islam. Family members and friends had been questioned by the Uzbek authorities, imprisoned or even killed for practising their religion. They fled at separate times, reuinited in Tajikistan in 1997, and moved through Afghanistan, Pakistan and eventually settled together in Iran. While at the refugee camp in Iran they requested that a school be set up. This request was turned down by the Iranian authorities and they were threatened with deportation to Uzbekistan. Consequently, the applicants fled to Turkey on 21 September 2007 (ECHR,2013).
Stage 1 details (accusations/ charges/ Interpol notice/ extradition requests): Charges were brought against 7 of the 8 adults in the group for attempting to change constitutional order in Uzbekistan. The Government of Turkey claimed that the group were former members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. (ECHR, 2013)
Stage 2 details (arrest/ detention/ extradition): Iranian authorities detained members of the group on 12 September 2008 when invited to police headquarters for distribution of food rations (ECHR, 2013).
Stage 3 details (attack/ abduction/ rendition/ torture/ assassination/ death): On 12 September 2008 and 11 October 2008 (after returning to Turkey illegally) they were forcibly deported from Turkey to Iran despite holding refugee status and residence permits in Turkey, and without being issued with deportation orders. They sought help from the Iranian gendarmerie, who deported them back to Turkey (ECHR, 2013)
Legal status (refugee/ asylum seeker/ resident): Granted refugee status by the UNHCR in 2006. Hold refugee and residence status in Turkey (ECHR , 2013).
Current status: In December 2013, the ECHR awarded them 10,000 EUR each for damages. The ECHR ruled that their deportations had been illegal. The court acknowledged that the fear they felt during these deportations was in violation of Article 3 of the Convention (freedom from torture and degrading treatment). Assumed to be living in Turkey. (ECHR, 2013)
Legal sources: European Court of Human Rights, Case of Ghorbanov and Others v. Turkey. Judgment, December 3, 2013. [Online]. Available at: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-138584.