The Appeal of HRC for Termination of Extraditions of Nationals to  the Russian Federation

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HRC is concerned about the numerous cases of extradition of sentenced persons to the Russian Federation in recent years, which, according to the assessment of HRC, creates the worst practice of fundamental human rights violations based on political loyalty. 

HRC provided legal assistance to a citizen of the Russian Federation residing in Georgia, ethnic Chechen Ramzan Akhiadov, who was handed over by the Ministry of Justice of Georgia to the Russian Federation on September 19, 2019, despite the resistance of HRC and other human rights organizations. After the extradition, information about the situation of Ramzan Akhiadov in the Russian penitentiary institution is unknown up to this date.

Akhiadov's case had a priori a resonance in the society, taking into account the Chechen origin of the person subject to extradition. The Georgian society has repeatedly expressed concern over the punitive measures of the Kadyrov regime and the gross violations of human rights in Chechnya. Ramzan Akhiadov denied all the accusations and emphasized the political persecution against him, due to open criticism of the President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov. 

Because of the concerns about the extradition of Akhiadov among the public,  then the Minister of Justice  Tea Tsulukiani stated that Akhiadov would be placed in prison under human conditions and no problems would be created for him. Further,  according to her statement, she would continue to monitor the execution of these guarantees in the penitentiary facility in the Russian Federation.

Despite the promise that Tea Tsulukiani gave to the Georgian society, the fate of Ramzan Akhiadov is unknown up to this date. The Ministry of Justice did not provide HRC with public information on the results of the monitoring, requested as early as 2019. The Ministry of Justice provided general information only three years later at the advance first hearing scheduled for April 27, 2022, after a joint claim was filed with the court by HRC and the Center for Social Justice. 

The general situation of human rights protection in the Russian Federation, especially harsh conditions in the federal prisons, is a subject of constant criticism in the Reports or Studies by several reputable international human rights organizations. Nevertheless, the Georgian authorities without having properly studied the extremely harsh conditions in the prisons and penitentiary medical facilities in the Russian Federation carry out the extradition of persons accused based on 'one size fits all'  diplomatic guarantees received from the Russian Federation. 

Against this backdrop, HRC  is particularly concerned about the fact that despite the numerous promises of the former Minister of Justice that she would personally monitor the high-profile cases of extradition, the Ministry still does not make public information about the monitoring process of the state of the extradited persons and its outcomes. This raises even more questions in society regarding the process and the enforcement of international obligations of human rights protection by the Georgian authorities.

HRC calls on Georgian authorities: 

1.    To understand the problem issues of extradition, and taking into consideration the objective facts and circumstances to ensure in all other similar cases  the strict adherence to  principles of international or national laws;
2.    To examine the statistics of extradited persons from Georgia to the Russian Federation and provide information to the public about the evident trends;
3.    To publish methodology, which is used to monitor the fundamental rights of extradited persons from Georgia. Also, to publish the results of the monitoring;
4.    To inform immediately the public about the health condition of Ramzan Akhiadov and his prison conditions;
5.    Taking into consideration the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the Council of Europe, conduct of warfare on the territory of Ukraine, the mass violations of human rights, and other relevant risks suspend the extradition of any person to the Russian Federation for an indefinite period.