Finally released, the Ivanovo prisoners await departure for a third country
Twelve Ivanovo Uzbeks out of thirteen were finally released from the municipal detention cell. It happened at 4.30 p.m. on March 5. A group of OMON servicemen escorted the former arrestees to the Oktyabrsky District Department of Internal Affairs where everyone filled out a request to Gerasimov, Chief of the Ivanovo Regional Directorate of the Federal Service of Immigration, to be registered for a month-long period so as to leave the territory of the Russian Federation afterwards.
"The Ivanovo Uzbeks were set free because the term of preliminary detention expired and the court ordered their release," Svetlana Martynova, a lawyer with Immigration and Right Network, said. "As a matter of fact, they spent eighteen months behind the bars which is way more than what the law permits. The UN High Commissar for Refugees (his office, that is) will help them get into another country. All necessary documents but visas are already available. As for the thirteenth man, Tashtemirov who is still in the detention cell, he will probably be sent to Kazakhstan, the country he is citizen of."
The Strasbourg Court will consider the case of the Ivanovo Uzbeks in the immediate future.
On March 2, 2007, the Ivanovo court ordered twelve Ivanovo Uzbeks out of thirteen set free because the term of detention specified by the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation had expired.
The Ivanovo Uzbeks were detained and locked up on June 18, 2005. The Ivanovo Regional Directorate of the Federal Service of Immigration denied them the status of refugees. The incident made newspapers. When the Russian Prosecutor General's Office ordered the men extradited to Uzbekistan where criminal charges were waiting, the European Court for Human Rights instructed the Russian authorities to suspend extradition and gave them until March 6, 2007, to offer an explanation.