Mikel and Nina Malyshev were deported back to Uzbekistan on Friday evening. At 6am Saturday morning they telephoned relatives and said that they were met in Tashkent at the plane steps by a representative of the British Embassy, who escorted them from the airport, bypassing passport control and security checks. They were about to be put on a bus to their former home in Zarafshan.
But they never arrived in Zarafshan and there has been no word of them since. The British Embassy say categorically they did not send any representative to meet the plane. That fake British Embassy representative was almost certainly from the Uzbek security services.
I gave written evidence to their asylum appeal stating that any returned asylum seeker would be picked up by the security services at the airport and be in extreme danger. The Home Office told the court this was not true and there were no human rights problems in Uzbekistan. The court accepted the Home Office view.
Having callously deported the Malyshevs to join the lists of the “disappeared” in Uzbekistan, the British government now repudiates any further interest in their fate. The British Embassy in Tashkent has told their relatives in Wales that they are Uzbeks in Uzbekistan and not their responsibility.
The truth is the British government knew perfectly well what would happen to the Malyshevs, and was lying to the court in saying that this would not happen. The coldblooded brutality of the government’s behaviour is stunning. President Karimov’s support for NATO operations in Afghanistan is placed at a far higher value than human life.