ECHR banned Russia from expelling a citizen of Turkmenistan who tried to swim to cross the border with Estonia

On October 11, the European Court of Human Rights, on the basis of Rule 39 of the Rules of the Court, suspended the deportation to Turkmenistan of Akhmet Dzhumadurdyev , HRC Memorial reports.

Rule 39 of the ECHR applies in emergency cases when there is a threat to human life and health. Mainly used to suspend the expulsion or extradition of the applicant.

26-year-old Turkmen citizen Akhmet Dzhumadurdyev was detained on July 26 this year by Estonian border guards when he tried to swim illegally across the Russian-Estonian border across the Narva River to seek asylum in Estonia. He was expelled to Russia.

On September 22, the Kingisepp City Court (Leningrad Region) considered this case. On October 1, following the results of the trial, Dzhumadurdyev was sentenced to imprisonment until actually served time and a fine of 20 thousand rubles.

According to Dzhumadurdyev, on September 22 - even before the verdict was pronounced - he was handed a notification from the FSB about the ban on entry and stay in Russia until 07/01/2055. This decision, as it turned out, was made by the FSB Directorate for St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region on September 2, 2020 . Previously, the citizen of Turkmenistan was not notified of the decision.

At the moment, the detainee is in the Temporary Detention Center for Foreign Citizens in Krasnoe Selo (St. Petersburg).

A citizen of Turkmenistan decided to seek asylum in Estonia due to the unsettled legal status in Russia (in 2019 he was denied refugee status and in 2021 an appeal attempt was rejected), in addition, according to Memorial, one of the Turkmen emigrants in Europe assured him, that in the countries of the European Union there should be no problems with seeking asylum.

However, according to Dzhumadurdyev, when he was detained and interrogated at the police station, his requests for asylum and stories about the situation in Turkmenistan were ignored. The border guards only offered to choose which country to deport him to - Russia or Turkmenistan.

According to Memorial, the Turkmen authorities are making efforts to forcibly return to their homeland critics of the regime abroad.

“Recently, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov criticized Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov for insufficient efforts to resolve this issue. According to media reports, in early October, Begmurat Mukhamedov was removed from his post as Minister of Justice and placed at the disposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan. Sources in Ashgabat claim that it is likely that he will be the one who will coordinate the efforts to deport dissidents based abroad to Turkmenistan and reduce the activity of the protest movement among Turkmen migrants, ”human rights activist Vitaly Ponomarev said .

Akhmet Dzhumadurdyev from 2013 to 2017 studied in the Leningrad region of Russia at the Ivangorod Humanitarian and Technical Institute.

On December 6, 2017, he was detained at the border control at Pulkovo airport in St. Petersburg, as the Turkmen authorities put him on the international wanted list in the case of an unofficial religious group.

The Russian prosecutor's office found no reason to extradite him, and a year later he was released. At the same time, Akhmet's older brother, Arslan Dzhumadurdyev, was arrested in Turkmenistan. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison on a trumped-up case of religious extremism.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan