Photo credit: "Novaya Gazeta"
A Moscow court has ruled that journalist Ali Feruz, a refugee facing deportation back to his native Uzbekistan, has a right to submit a request to leave Russia for a third country, the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported.
Last week, another Moscow court ruled to overturn a deportation order against the journalist. This new decision overturns a second deportation order against Feruz. Combined, the rulings potentially bring Feruz’s saga — which has seen him detained in a migration jail outside Moscow for multiple months — to a close and protect him from torture in Uzbekistan.
In 2009, Feruz — whose legal name is Khudoberdi Nurmatov — fled political persecution in Uzbekistan after the authoritarian state’s security service tortured him to extract information about a friend’s political views. Feruz subsequently moved to Russia.
In 2012, however, he lost his passport when thieves stole his bag. He never received a new passport, as that would involve visiting the Embassy of Uzbekistan, where Feruz feared he would be arrested.
Three years later, Feruz began working to achieve asylum in Russia. In 2016, while awaiting an asylum decision, he began writing for Novaya Gazeta about the lives of refugees, labor migrants, and other vulnerable social groups.
Then, on August 1, 2017, Feruz was abruptly detained outside of his office in Moscow and taken to the police station. He was quickly put before a judge, who ordered that he be deported — despite that fact that his ongoing asylum case made his stay in Russia legal.
However, Russia temporarily halted Feruz’s deportation after the European Court of Human Rights forbade the Russian authorities to deport him until it could rule on his appeal.