Thanks to Bob Marshall Andrews 11


A number of MPs have now made representations about Jahongir Sidikov. I have in particular been copied this excellent letter by Bob Marshall-Andrews, queryiing our apparent new policy of deporting to Uzbekistan:

27 November 2007

Mr Liam Byrne MP

Minister of State (Borders and Immigration)

Home Office

2 Marsham Street

LONDON SW1P 4DF

Dear Liam

Re.: Johongir Sidikov Home Office ref. no.: S2185191

I am writing to you about this young man, an Uzbekistan dissident, who is due to be deported tomorrow. He is presently at Harmondsworth Detention Centre. He is no connection with my constituency and, indeed, I have seen no papers relating to the withdrawal of his asylum status. I have been contacted by a friend of mine at Cambridge University who has also provided me with an article written by Craig Murray and I attach a copy for your immediate convenience.

As I have said, I am not aware of the full facts but I am very concerned that we should be deporting dissidents to Uzbekistan, a country which is a notorious reputation for human rights abuse and torture. I had always believed that it was policy not to deport to that country.

In these circumstances I would be very grateful if you would grant a short stay of execution in order that I may acquaint myself with the background with a view to possibly making further representations if that appear to be merited. On a wider level, I would be grateful if you could let me know if it is now government policy to deport political dissidents to Uzbekistan and whether any bi-lateral agreements have been made concerning their treatment.

The urgency is self-apparent and I would be very grateful for an early response.

Yours sincerely

Bob Marshall-Andrews QC MP

(Dictated by RMA and signed in his absence

As far as I can tell, the Home Office have yet to reply to any of the many representations they have received. They seem determined to go ahead with this deportation. This is bringing increasing international condemnation, inluding this report from Radio Free Europe:

Political Activist Fears Extradition To Uzbekistan

November 27, 2007 (RFE/RL) — Human rights activists are concerned that Britain may deport opposition activist Jahongir Sidikov to Uzbekistan on November 28.

Sidikov and Uzbek rights activists told RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service that he would face immediate arrest, torture, and possible death if deported.

The concern is not unfounded — the UN Committee Against Torture said last week that torture and ill-treatment are “widespread” in Uzbekistan.

Speaking by phone today from a detention center in London, Sidikov expressed fear for his life. “According to the latest news that I have got, they are going to send me back to Uzbekistan on Wednesday. I know that right after my arrival in Uzbekistan I’ll be arrested. I’m afraid that I’ll be persecuted and tortured. I’m really worried for my life.”

Sidikov is a member of Erk, a banned Uzbek opposition party. He came to London to study at the City University in 1999 and then sought unsuccessfully to gain political asylum in Britain.

Full report here:

http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2007/11/CD96D98E-B944-4542-89C4-3508A18BCB8F.html

The deportation is scheduled for tomorrow evening, so there is still time for further representations – though no sign that the Home Office is paying any attention to them. I keep saying this, but I just find it absolutely unbelievable that the UK is starting to deport dissidents back to Uzbekistan.


11 thoughts on “Thanks to Bob Marshall Andrews

  • mike warren

    Thanks for publicising this,

    just for the record I've sent an email to my MP Richard Taylor about it, but haven't heard anything back.

  • Chuck Unsworth

    Bob Marshall-Andrews has consistently shown his integrity in such matters. I'm impressed.

    At least he is one Labour MP with an ounce of honour and decency. Are there any others?

  • girtholomew

    I have written to my MP (Kate Hoey) who replied to me yesterday – she too is making representations to Liam Byrne and will get back to me. I will keep you informed.

  • Jesurgislac

    I contacted my MP (Mark Lazarowicz). As I'd expected, he wrote back to say that as Johongir Sidikov was not a resident in his constituency, he could not make representations as an individual. But (I had included information and links to the current UN CAT report) he would certainly communicate with the Home Office about the principle of not deporting people to countries that commit torture.

  • Jesurgislac

    I meant to ask – which constituency would Johongir Sidikov have been resident in while he was in the UK? Because the MP for that constituency is the one who can make personal representations about Sidikov as an individual, not only about the principle of not deporting people to Uzbekistan.

  • Moses

    Hello sir,

    the people who were granted a political asylum in the UK are just those who acted as you puppets back in Uzbekistan. Things change and i know many of those fellas wishing to go back and forget that crap you made the believe in. But on the other hand they have no choice. BTW uzbekistan is not as notoruious as your double standart counrty which is being manipulated by

  • Moses

    Hello sir,

    the people who were granted a political asylum in the UK are just those who acted as you puppets back in Uzbekistan. Things change and i know many of those fellas wishing to go back and forget that crap you made the believe in. But on the other hand they have no choice. BTW uzbekistan is not as notoruious as your double standart counrty which is being manipulated by States.

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