A Russian appeals court has halted the deportation of journalist Ali Feruz to Uzbekistan, where rights groups fear he could face torture, imprisonment, or death at the hands of the authorities.
The Moscow City Court ruled on August 8 that Feruz, a reporter for the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, cannot be deported until the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) examines his appeal against the ruling.
Speaking in the courtroom ahead of the ruling, Feruz told the BBC that he faces a “long, slow death” if he is deported to Uzbekistan.
Feruz, whose real name is Hudoberdi Nurmatov, was ordered deported by a lower Moscow court on August 1 over alleged violations of immigration law. The ECHR issued an order on August 4 barring his transfer to Uzbekistan.
Feruz says he has the right to remain in Russia pending a decision on his application for asylum.
A Russian native whose mother and two siblings are Russian citizens, Feruz left Russia at the age of 17 and accepted Uzbek citizenship. He fled the Central Asian country in 2008 after allegedly being tortured for two days by the Uzbek security forces. Read more via Radio Free Europe