Last Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014, 13:55 GMT

UN agency asks Ukraine to free detained former prime minister of Tajikistan

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 20 March 2013
Cite as UN News Service, UN agency asks Ukraine to free detained former prime minister of Tajikistan, 20 March 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/514c47572.html [accessed 20 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The United Nations refugee agency said today it is deeply concerned about the continued detention and possible extradition of the former prime minister of Tajikistan, Abdoumalik Abdoulladjanov, a recognized refugee who was arrested in Ukraine.

"Since Mr. Abdoulladjanov's return to his country of origin would violate both international and domestic law, his continued detention for extradition purposes lacks a legitimate purpose," the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a press release.

A district court in Kiev ruled on 15 March that Mr. Abdoulladjanov can be detained for up to 12 months, pending a decision on his extradition to Tajikistan.

The former Tajik prime minister was arrested at Kiev's Boryspil International Airport on 5 February on an international warrant after travelling from the United States.

He is accused by Tajik authorities of involvement in a 1996 assassination attempt on his former political challenger and current President, Emomali Rahmon.

UNHCR urged Ukraine – a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention relating to the status of refugees and the 1967 protocol – to act in accordance with international law and release Mr. Abdoulladjanov out of respect for his refugee status.

It also reiterated the importance of the principle of non-refoulement, under which no refugee can be forcibly returned to his or her country of origin, including by way of extradition.

Refoulement is a violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention, as well as prohibited under the national laws of Ukraine.

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