Zokhidov, Rustam

See also Savriddin Juraev and Murodzhon Abdulkhakov in this database.

Gender: .
State of concern: .

Who, Why and How exiled:

In 2005, he left Uzbekistan to find work in Russia. He lived in Russia between 2005 and December 2011 ( European Court of Human Rights, 2013).

Category of exile: . (Definitions here.)
Alleged affiliation: Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Which stages experienced: Stage 1   Stage 2   Stage 3. (Definitions here.)
Date of most serious incident: 2011.
Violence experienced: .

Stage 1 details (accusations/ charges/ Interpol notice/ extradition requests):

In May 2010, criminal proceedings were brought against Mr Zokhidov in Uzbekistan on suspicion of having participated, between 2001 and 2005, in activities of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a religious organisation banned in Uzbekistan (ECHR, 2013).

Pressure was reportedly put on both Rustam Zokhidov’s family and his lawyers not to appeal the court decision and his lawyers were threatened with losing their licenses. Rustam Zokhidov advised his family that their NSS officers were tapping their phones and asked them to stop contacting the lawyers who had represented him in Russia “in order not to have any more problems” (Amnesty International, 2013).

Stage 2 details (arrest/ detention/ extradition):

He was charged with public appeals to overthrow the constitutional order in connection with his presumed membership of the organisation and his name was placed on an international wanted list (European Court of Human Rights, 2013).

On 14 July 2010 he was arrested in St Petersburg. His arrest record of the same date stated that he had been arrested in accordance with the Minsk Convention as a person who was on an international wanted list. The initial detention order 'not set any time-limits for the detention and referred only to Article 61 of the Minsk Convention' (European Court of Human Rights, 2013).

His detention was again ordered by the prosecutor on 24 August 2010, and it was subsequently extended until his release in April 2011 ( European Court of Human Rights, 2013)

Stage 3 details (attack/ abduction/ rendition/ torture/ assassination/ death):

On 21 December 2011, Mr Zokhidov was deported to Uzbekistan. According to his submissions, a group of police officers and officials of the migration service burst into the flat where he lived with his family on the pretext of an identity check. They subsequently took him to the airport, where he was put on a plane to Uzbekistan, despite the fact that he had informed the officers of the interim measure indicated by the European Court of Human Rights and had shown them a copy of the Court’s letter as proof.

According to the Russian Government, there were no legal grounds for Mr Zokhidov’s stay in Russia, given the refusal to grant him asylum. In Uzbekistan, he was convicted as charged and sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment in April 2012 (European Court of Human Rights, 2013).



International arrest warrant: .

Countries of transit, asylum and/or residence: .

Legal status (refugee/ asylum seeker/ resident):

He appealed against the District Court’s decision that refused to grant him asylum (European Court of Human Rights, 2013).

His  forcible return happened despite the European Court having ordered interim measures in this case on 19 November 2010, and despite the fact that Rustam Zokhidov was still in the process of appealing the decision by the Federal Migration Service to reject his application for refugee status (Amnesty International, 2013).


Current status:

He is currntly in prison in Uzbekistan.

Press sources:

Amnesty International,2013. UZBEKISTAN UZBEKISTAN SUBMISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE. [Online]. Available at: https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/16000/eur620112013en.pdf

Interfax Religion. July,2010. Hizb ut-Tahrir activist wanted by Uzbekistan caught in St. Petersburg. [Online]. Available at: http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=7474

Legal sources:

European Court of Human Rights, "Deportation from Russia of Uzbek man suspected of membership of illegal religious organisation exposed him to risk of ill-treatment in his home country", 5 February, 2013. [Online]. Available at: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/app/conversion/pdf/?library=ECHR&id=003-4246873-5054671&filename=003-4246873-5054671.pdf.