Malyshevs Disappeared 107

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.

107 thoughts on “Malyshevs Disappeared

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  • mike

    Off-thread quickie: Is it just me, or is there something sickening about the way in which the violent death of another human being (Gaddafi) is being treated as a joke by the media?

    Perhaps we’ve become so desensitised to on-screen death that one more doesn’t really matter.

  • John Goss

    Perhaps the most influential way forward would be through mainstream media. There are still some responsible journalists in this country. What’s Robert Fisk doing?

  • Chienfou

    @Stephen Yes – everyone should write to their MP at

    It’s an easy, quick and entirely democratic way to make your MP aware of your views. Your MP represents you (and all his/her other consistituents) no matter whether you voted for them or not.

    Ask your MP to contact the Foreign Secretary on your behalf. As your representative they ought to do so and William Hague ought to respond. Again this is entirely within the democratic process. William Hague is reponsible to Parliament so ought to respond to an enquiry from a Member of that Parliament.

    There is nothing to stop you trying to contact William Hague directly but as an individual citizen, you are not going to get through to him – and even then he doesn’t need to reply. So go via your MP.

  • Gill

    Nina & Mikel had legal representation, we fought to the last minute, we applied for an emegency injuction at our cost, the plane was delayed awaiting the decision but they were turned down. They had no money with them, only the clothes they were standing in and no friends or family in Uzbekistan. Their only family is Nina’s daughter(Mikel’s sister)a U.K. resident.

    We have been waiting all afternoon for Hywel Francis MP to contact us as promised,no contact yet. The solicitor has been waiting all day for answers from UKBA, again no reply yet.

    No responce from William Hague or Teresa May either.

    Still no contact from Nina & Mikel since Saturday 6 A.M. GMT


  • Gill

    neil,they ‘ve been have never claimed a penny from this country, they worked volintaraly for the red cross for years, they wanted to stay in this country because ninas daughter is here the family consists of four and the goverment have even denied them the right to family life

  • Michael Andersen

    To John Goss and Gill, you seem to have been intimately involved in this case and been trying to help the Malyshevs……PLEASE get in touch with me as I am keen to cover this case, and through that hopefully help them….
    I am a Danish journalist and has made several films for Aljazeera English on Uzbekistan, including interviews with Craig, we are very good acquaintances, have know each other since his time in Tashkent where I lived at the time.
    You can find me through Facebook:!/profile.php?id=745715947
    Or write directly to me on:
    [email protected]
    Hope to hear from you.

  • John Goss

    Gill, I’m still waiting for Hywel Francis to contact me regarding legal representation. I left a message on his answerphone last Thursday. But I’m pleased to learn they were represented. I’m sure you represent more than one asylum seeker. I am sorry you had to pursue this at your own expense. That should not be the case when there are so many people who I’m almost sure would chip something in to alleviate costs.

  • Gill

    haywel francis promised to get back to us this afternoon but he hasnt he was going to speak to old minister’s don’t know what they can do?

  • conjunction

    I wrote to my MP Paul Murphy when Craig first raised this issue. As we had had quite a chat on my doorstep last election I thought I might at least get a reply. However I have had no reply, just as I got no reply back in the day when I wrote him a long considered letter about the Iraq war. When I wrote to him about Popov I did however get a reply, saying he had passed my email on to Hague as asked.
    I guess the key in these issues is that, to always ask the MP to contact the Foreign Sec, the MP is just a courier.

  • Canspeccy

    This seems a rather obscure tale.
    An Uzbek couple arrive in Britain seeking refugee status, but we do not know from what they were seeking refuge (or do we? In which case what was it?)
    We do not know in any detail what they did while in Britain.
    We do not know how they maintained themselves while in Britain. (Or do we? In which case, how?)
    The British Government dismissed their claim for refugee status on unknown grounds. (Or have those grounds been stated? In which case, what were they?)
    The couple has been returned to Uzbekistan where, by their own report, they appear to have been detained by the authorities. But we do not know for what purpose they were detained or for how long they were or will be detained, if they have not yet already been set at liberty.
    Under the circumstances, would it not be better, rather than hysterically vilifying the Uzbek authorities, to make polite inquiries with the Uzbek authorities expressing concern for the health and safety of the individuals concerned and requesting information about their whereabouts and present status?

  • mary

    Yes Alfred so obscure that the unfortunate couple have disappeared off the face of the earth.

  • Guest

    “The coldblooded brutality of the government’s behaviour is stunning.”
    Point 1: No, it isn`t, we should all be used to it by now.
    “President Karimov’s support for NATO operations in Afghanistan is placed at a far higher value than human life.”
    Point 2: By saying the above you seem to be under an illusion that the UK government puts some kind of “value” on “human life”, after having killed/murdered millions of people already in their pursuit of global resources and their own wealth, it should have become clear by now that they don`t put any kind of “value” on “human life”. The UK government makes “Karimov” look like an amateur.

  • Canspeccy

    “So obscure that the unfortunate couple have disappeared off the face of the earth.”
    All we know is that they are out of contact with their relatives, which is quite different from having “disappeared from the face of the earth”.
    Why then, not make inquiries through the appropriate channels?
    Also, why not clarify the context of the concern about these people?
    And why not refrain from insulting the Uzbek authorities, while making legitimate inquiries of them concerning the welfare of the deported couple.


    Now in my Seventies I have never ever until relatively recently even remotely thought to my self that I am ashamed of my name. In the name of my parents it grieves me that I do now do so. No big prizes for guessing why so.

  • Abe Rene

    They may still be alive, even if in an Uzbek jail. It may be worthwhile continuing to make a fuss, so that they may be kept alive, and released eventually.

  • crab

    I used to contact my MP on Thursday but have not had a reply.

    This is wrong on a sympathetic level.. and wrong on a selfish level. For this to happen in full view of the courts and the blogsphere – the inhumanity is here. Life is cheap here now.

  • craig Post author


    I’ll start a thread on it but no, I was right. The vast majority of them were already criminals.

  • DonnyDarko

    Our Government’s complicity in crimes against humanity does not surprise me anymore. It’s sadly become parr for the course, doesn’t matter if its Labour or Conservative.What they themselves cannot stomach they deny it ever happened… gone down the memory hole.
    I remember watching the police being wielded by Maggie’s Govt at the miners like a paramilitary force and worrying. What we’ve got nowadays is infinitely worse. Think about it. We have a conservative minority Govt starting wars,ignoring human rights and allowing business to ride roughshod over all the rules of common decency and the Liberals keep them at the trough.They threaten their own members for being democratic and voting with their own principals instead of blindly following Uncle Dave or big Brother. It’s ridiculous.
    We’ve been raining democracy down on Libya for months and yet we cant tolerate it in the commons.
    Can’t we just outlaw political parties and have only independents or the Monster Loonie’s ?

  • glenn

    Re: Riots, poverty, lack of education and criminal records… aren’t these all related? I daresay a sizable proportion of those caught rioting did indeed have criminal records. The well-healed don’t tend to resort to petty crime. Prisons are filled with illiterates. Opportunistic crime is more likely from those with very little and also have nothing to lose.
    Why should it be any mystery that such people also took advantage of the riots? Didn’t notice it happening in affluent areas.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “It may be worthwhile continuing to make a fuss” Ane Rene.
    I agree, Abe. Many political prisoners from around the world have confirmed (one or two to me personally) – and PEN and AI both testify – that the bigger the international fuss, the better.
    “Refraining from insulting the Uzbek authorities” (Alfred) – though one understands the logic (‘don’t upset them lest it become and issue and they get more vicious’; but surely it already is an issue) what an odd thing to say – that has not worked in the past and will not work now. Appeasement.


    This is a chilling reminder of the southern cone during the 1970’s and 80’s, so convenient for people to be “disapeared” under the UK/US directed regime of those days. This is a terrible example of the continuing, and nowadays bolstered behaviour of the UK system (not worth calling it government anymore!) which in any case is a dictatorship dressed up to be some shop window “democracy”.

  • Komodo

    Canspeccy has a point, sorry to say. Were the Malyshevs refugees, or had they made a claim for asylum on this basis?

    If so, the UNHCR legislation is relevant:

    While this would be of no use to the Malyshevs, as Uzbekistan is not a signatory (surprise!) it might be possible to arraign one of our own smug politicians…the UK was a founder signatory. Pour encourager les autres.

  • writeon

    Individuals mean very little in our system, unless they have ‘value.’ Ordinary, decent, people, are expendable, mere pawns on the board.

    Our leaders don’t give a damn about ordinary people, whether they live or die. Human rights is a quaint concept… to be prostituted when necessary. The same goes for democracy, liberty, freedom, and most of our other values… the one’s we go to war to spread, our great benign gift to the world.

    I don’t know which is worst about the west, our hypocracy, or our arrogance. Perhaps it’s the central idea that we are morally superior to everyone else, and that our values are universal, even when we piss all over them ourselves.

  • arsalan

    It is obvious that in the eyes of the British Zionist controlled government there are no human rights concerns in Uzbekistan.
    Remembering in their eyes Israel is a democracy.

    We can not depend on the like of the British government to defend the lives of Uzbeks or anyone else. The British government is the cause of problems not its solution.
    It is up to Uzbeks and other people of the region to remove their Zionist governments there by protecting their own lives.
    The British have seen fit to defend and protect the Zionist Karimov for their own ends. When he is removed and replaced, the British have no one but themselves to blame when the people that replace him are not particularly pro-western.

  • Canspeccy

    “Refraining from insulting the Uzbek authorities” … what an odd thing to say – that has not worked in the past and will not work now. Appeasement.”
    Dealing with the relevant authorities politely is not “appeasement” — as anyone the least bit familiar with English customs and history would know.
    Winston Churchill, for example, signed Britain’s declaration of war on Japan,
    “Your humble and obedient servant”
    remarking that “when you are about to kill a man, it does no harm to be polite.”
    But here, apparently, the approach is to aid your friends by slagging off those in whose power they are held, rather than engaging in a constructive dialog. Obviously, if the worst comes to the worst, one can slag off the Uzbeks as much as one likes, although Uzbeks in trouble with the Uzbek government might do well to avoid publicly associating with you.

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