Amnesty International appeals to Kiev not to extradite former Tajik PM
KIEV, March 5 - RAPSI. Amnesty International has appealed to the Ukrainian authorities not to extradite former Prime Minister Abdumalik Abdullojonov to Tajikistan, Radio Liberty said on Tuesday.
Abdullojonov was detained at Boryspil Airport south of Kiev on February 5 under an international arrest warrant.
Human rights advocates believe that if extradited to Tajikistan, Abdullojonov could be subject to torture and other grave breaches of human rights. Amnesty International has urged Kiev to release him immediately.
The Prosecutor General's Office of Tajikistan is preparing to send Ukraine a request for his extradition. On February 7, 2013, the City Court of Boryspil granted the Tajik prosecutors' request for Abdullojonov's temporary arrest. The court ruled that he should remain in detention for 40 days, until March 17.
Abdullojonov was prime minister of Tajikistan between 1992 and 1993 during the country's five-year civil war. He was later appointed Tajik Ambassador to Russia. In 1994, Abdullojonov ran for president in the republic's first nationwide election. Coming from the north of the country, he was largely supported by voters in the Sughd Province, traditionally the home ground of the political leaders of Soviet Tajikistan. Abdullojonov lost to Emomali Rahmon, who remains president of the country to this day. In 1998, Abdullojonov emigrated to the United States.
The former prime minister was charged in absentia with creating a criminal group, attempting a coup, terrorism, subversive actions and embezzlement of government property, and was put on the wanted list in 1997. He rejects the charges as politically motivated.