Where Are The Malyshevs? 49

It is five days now since Nina and Mikel Malyshev were “disappeared” – I have no doubt by the Uzbek security services – during their deportation to Uzbekistan by the UK Border Agency.

I had hoped that they would be detained for a couple of days and then released after signing a confession that they had been misled by evil people like me and that President Karimov was the great father of his nation. But unfortunately this is now looking far more sinister, particularly as we know that they were taken past passport control at the airport without their arrival being registered. I fear they may have simply disappeared forever and the Uzbek government will deny all knowledge they ever arrived.

The British government denies all responsibility. This from the UK border agency, who sent them back to Karimov:

“These individuals were removed on Friday after they refused to leave voluntarily. “The UK Border Agency carefully considered their cases and several different judges agreed in the courts that they did not need the UK’s protection.”

The British Embassy in Tashkent have told the family they have no responsibility for the Malyshevs.

The UK Border Agency deported the Malyshevs on 21 October. At 6am on 22 October they phoned their relatives in Port Talbot to say that they were alright, they had been met at the plane by a representative of the British Embassy and escorted through the airport, bypassing passport control, security checks and customs. They expected to be put on a bus to their former home in Zarafshan. They never arrived in Zarafshan and have disappeared. The British Embassy say they did not send anybody to the airport to meet them.

The fake British official was without doubt from the Uzbek security services. Nobody else could get airside at Tashkent – including, incidentally, the British Embassy who do not have airside access.

I gave written evidence to the Malyshevs’ asylum appeal. I specifically stated that if deported the Malyshevs would be picked up at the airport by the security services. The Home Office stated this was not true, and my knowledge was out of date.

It is not acceptable for the British government knowingly to deport people to probable torture in Uzbekistan, and then refuse to find out what happens to them. The government refuses to check up on the Malyshevs’ fate partly because it does not care what happens to them, and partly because it wants to continue to claim there is no problem and continue to deport others to Karimov.

Please raise this with any group you know, and get as many people as possible to write to their MPs. Amnesty members try to get them involved. Please repost this as widely as possible on the web. The Malyshevs may still be alive in a cell or gulag. We need to find them.


Mikel Malyshev has just phoned his sister – so the good news is that he is alive. But he did not appear able to talk freely and when asked if he was OK replied “Yes and No”. He was not alone – other voices could be heard – and seemed very nervous. He was not with Nina and could or would not say where she was.

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49 thoughts on “Where Are The Malyshevs?

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  • Aggrava Cucum T

    Ten years from now, as Mr Karimov is sodomized with a knife and the next gangster takes over in Uzbekistan, a future British government will try to brush this under the carpet and go back to polishing its humanitarian nukes.
    Is there any point pretending that the human excrement in Downing Street can be influenced by genuine humanitarian concerns?

  • Uzbek in the UK

    It is indeed horrible. You are quite right that no one apart from SNB have airside access and especially could take anyone bypassing passport control. Have there been any words from ECHR? Have you updated them on Malyshevs disappearance? UKBA and FCO knew well that Human Rights situation in Uzbekistan has not improved at all if not became worse. They are now trying to wash their hands off from possible torture or even murder. The only way is to involve ECHR and some NGOs and raise Malyshevs issue before Uzbek authorities. Can any of the UN multiple and useless departments be involved? As Malyshevs are ethnic Russians can Russian authorities be also involved?
    If Uzbek authorities face multiple pressure they might show mercy and let Malyshevs go especially that they do not represent any danger to the regime. It certainly will be quite dangerous for anyone who still have links with Uzbekistan to do but perhaps someone can get in touch with Ombudsman as there is representation of it in Uzbekistan although by very disgusting Akmal Saidov. Are there any institutions in the UK that oversee UKBA and FCO activities as what has happened was brutal Human Rights violation?

  • ingo

    Because we have now all heard of this extradition’ mistake’, as it no doubt will be called, the frustartion become pulpable for many.
    How much longer can we take this noncholance and murderous zeal from this wretched coalition.
    This frustration and ill feeling, due to one’s Governments conduct , here and abroad, can only result in anxiety. Maybe one day the pressure wil get too much and people will revolt against the evil doers.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Mr Murray,
    If you want I can translate this post into Russian so that you can probably send it to some Russian web blogs that are concentrated on Central Asia like Fergana.ru for example? I can do it later today.

  • Graham Derrick

    In response to Craig’s posts concerning the Malyshevs, I phoned Amnesty who advised emailing them: [email protected] – subject box: ‘FAO the Uzbekistan Team’ and citing Craig’s articles. Naturally, the more of us who can take similar action, the better it might be for this unfortunate family.

  • Jon

    @Uzbek, I am sure Craig would be more than happy for you to do that! Every little helps.
    I will contact Amnesty today.

  • antiDespot

    Protesting in front of uzbek embassy in london and inviting some media to the protest might also help.

  • Stephen

    Perhaps the FCO might wish to show a little concern about people pretending to UK Government officials when they are not. Allowing these boundaries to be blurred at the MOD didn’t do a lot for Dr Fox’s carrer prospects did it Mr Hague!

    I would have thought that the least the FCO could do is call in the Uzbek Ambassador for an explanation.

  • Komodo

    They took the “Human Rights” page down, too. Here’s their link to it, though:

    “Human Rights in Uzbekistan

    The UK actively supports human rights, democracy and good governance around the world.”

    Sure we do. Goes without saying. But how?

  • Stephen

    The FCO website in respect of their report on human rights within countries of concern takes comments


    I have posted the following questions there – which are awaiting moderation, others may wish to raise other questions – and follow up to William Hague if they never get out of moderation!

    The UK Border Agency deported the Malyshevs to Uzbekistan on 21 October, having made representaions to the Courts that they would not be subject to persecution on their return. At 6am on 22 October they phoned their relatives in Port Talbot to say that they were alright, they had been met at the plane by a representative of the British Embassy and escorted through the airport, bypassing passport control, security checks and customs. They expected to be put on a bus to their former home in Zarafshan. They never arrived in Zarafshan and have disappeared. The British Embassy in Tashkent say they did not send anybody to the airport to meet them. Nothing has been heard since from the Malyshevs

    Given the undertaking made to the Court by the UK Border Agency regarding the safety of the Malyshev’s on their return could someone at the FCO please detail what steps they are taking to ensure the safety of teh Malyshevs and to demonstrate that their undertakings to the UK Court were of substance and based upon competent advice provided by our Embassy, and what representations they are making to the Uzbek Govt regarding the impersonation of British Embassy officials and permitting such bogus officials airside access at Tashkent Airport?

    Given that human life may be at stake a prompt response would be appreciated.

  • Iain Orr


    I have sent the following email to Tessa Jowell (my MP after a recent move), with the subject line “Unsafe deportations to Uzbekistan”. I have concentrated on the essentials. Saying the relatives are in the UK rather than specifying Port Talbot reduces the risk of an intern deciding – “nothing to do with the constituency”. I made sure the email had my home postcode and telnos.

    Text of email:

    “Dear Ms Jowell

    Nina and Mikel Malyshev, citizens of Uzbekistan, sought asylum in the UK. This was refused. Appeal tribunal judges accepted assurances from UK officials that there was no risk in their returning to their homeland. They were deported by air to Uzbekistan by the UK Border Agency on 21 October 2011. On their arrival on 22 October they rang relatives in the UK to say that they had been met by a representative of the British Embassy in Tashkent. Since then their relatives have been unable to contact them and the British Embassy has confirmed that it did not send anyone to meet them on arrival.

    Do you agree that it matters for standards of administration and of justice in the UK to find out what has happened to the Mayashevs? Can you please ask the Home Secretary to look into this case?

    Yours sincerely

    Iain Orr”
    [NB I have had the automatic response and now await a substantive reply]

    I will send similar emails to other parliamentarians, noting in in each case why why I expect them to take up the case – as chair or member of the Select Committes on Foreign Affairs (chair Richard Ottaway MP Con ) or Home Affairs (Chair Keith Vaz MP Lab). A different approach will be needed with the Joint Committee on Human Rights (Chair Dr Hywel Francis MP Lab)since its terms of reference exclude individual cases. The wider point will be the need to monitor how reliable is the advice given by UK officials to judges (and ministers). That point might also be made to the Select Committee on Justice (Chair: Sir Alan Beith LibDem; Jeremy Corbyn MP Lab also a member).

    Also worth lobbying the members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Uzbekistan (Chair Viscount Waverly)? Even those who are Karimov apologists may realise how counter-productive such cases are for his (and their) reputation.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Mr Murray,
    Please check your mail.ru email account. I have just emailed you translation of this post into Russian. I can ask few those Russian bloggers I know to publish this on their blogs. Can you email this to Fergana.ru, do you know anyone there? Fergana.ru is one of the most visited web sites that discusses issues about Central Asia.

  • Komodo


    I’ve copied your letter, suitably amended (Port Talbot) and over my own name, to Hywel Francis, who is the MP for Port Talbot…

  • ingo

    Contacted Amnesty and aks them to try and get a representation made to ambassador Joy, so shoehorned by the false flagging reception at the airport, to make it clear to him that the UK authorities have deported these people straight into prison and interogation, that he has the god damn duty to inquiere about Nina and Mikaels whereabouts and health. What joy doe he get out of being used as a stooge for the Uzbek security services, can we find out?

    great to hear from you Ian, and with some excellent suggestions. I will ask my MP to write to Hague, specifically with regards to our responsibilities for accurate information being disseminated in our courts when it comes to deportations to well known torturers, our follow up care and subsequent human rights record.
    Would it be a good idea for Joy to actively ask and inquire about the two’s whereabouts and health? or would that make it worse? not so sure.

  • Iain Orr


    Let’s see which of our constituency MPs responds the more helpfully (my expectations of Tessa are not high). I’ve also emailed Dr Francis in his capacity as Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights; and will cover a number of its members, including Dominic Raab MP – apparently a colleague for a short period from 2000 when he worked in the FCO (as an Assistant Legal Adviser).

    If any MP responds helpfully it may be worth suggesting PQs (different texts depending on developments and on whether the target is Mrs May, Mr Hague or the PM).

  • Just curious

    According to your update, Mikel phoned relatives in the UK. If Malyshevs were in prison they would not be able to make calls. Probably, they are going through check up process at some kind of detention center considering they were out of Uzbekistan for long without a valid exit visa. I am guessing their passports may also have been expired. It takes weeks, if not months, to check identity of persons in Uzbekistan. The authorities in Uzbekistan, although I hate their cruelty and brutality, are taking extra measures in checking identities of their citizens. It has become complicated especially after violence against uzbeks in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan last year. Most ethnic uzbeks from Kyrgyzstan are now hiding in Uzbekistan for fear of persecution in Kyrgyzstan. and they are living with their relatives without any sort of documents. What I am saying now is let’s wait and hear other side of story from those who we are accusing. Let’s be fair and balance the cons and pros.

  • Uccello

    Dear Craig et al,

    I have recently discovered your site and have found it some of the most compelling reading I have ever read online.

    Craig, can you or anyone point me to any other sites/sources of information that would back up what Craig claims re Fox/Werrity or Usmanov or Malayshevs. Not that I think you mendacious, just that some of your claims are so upsetting, shocking, shaming that I don’t want to take just one man’s views (however apparently well informed!) as gospel.

    I have emailed David Lammy and also contacted a friend who writes an Arsenal blog with a view to possibly mobilising the Arsenal fan base en masse about Usmanov. I would also need several sources of information to attempt this.

    Thanks, keep fighting the good fight!

  • Judith Skartvedt

    I am using this information to bolster an asylum case here in the US—-thanks for posting!
    Judith Skartvedt

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Curiosity is indeed positive quality and has led to many positive discoveries and truth.
    But in case with Malyshevs there is to say at least little doubt about them being detained for having their Uzbek passports expired. If this was the case why to meet them at airside and then take them bypassing passport control which in practise should have established that their passports expired (if they have expired) and then detain them for breaking immigration rules of Uzbekistan. What happened to them looks more like hijacking by Uzbek SNB. Also the fact that those who hijacked them told them they were from British Embassy looks at least suspicious.

  • Ken

    Have emailed my MP, Sam Gyimah. Anyone else in E. Surrey please do the same so he has at least two appeals. It’s normally a week or so to receive a reply. Will post it here when received.
    Keep up the good work, I don’t know anywhere else where such valuable news and information is constantly posted.

  • craig Post author

    Just Curious,

    If they were in some sort of comparatively harmless immigration holding centre, presumably Mikel would have been able to say that to his sister? They were escorted from the plane, not picked up at passport control.

  • nuid

    I’ve had an email response from Amnesty saying they passed my email to the Usbekistan desk and will be in touch with me when they hear back.

  • Iain Orr


    Thanks for the update. The good news (of Mikel having been able to phone his sister in the UK) is balanced by the worrying signs that both he and Nina are being held under official Uzbek constraints. Given that they are not both being prevented from making any outside contact, how do you think it best to support public and parliamentary interest in the Malyshevs’ post-deportation circumstances? There is the obvious difficulty that they may well be under heavy pressure to say little; and be unable to make unmonitored contact with relatives/ friends/ international media/ the British Embassy. So, what points would it be reasonable to ask symathetic parliamentarians to make to the UK Border Agency/ Home Office/ FCO?

    Subject to what Mikel’s sister, you and others who know more about Uzbekistan advise, one approach might be to encourage parliamentarians to ask the Home Office what they know about the circumstances of the Malyshevs following their deportation to Uzbekistan.

    Separately, someone in a good position to do so should brief the Home Secretary. Could the substance of updates from your contacts with the family and friends be fed in to Mrs May by, for example, a solicitor who represented the Malyshevs at the appeals tribunal? The current briefing would say that while Mikel had twice been able to ring his sister from Uzbekistan, most recently on [date]October, he had not [if this is true] indicated where he was or how he could be contacted; nor had he said anything about his wife’s circumstances. The points about how they were intercepted on arrival by people falsely claiming to be from the British Embassy could also be included.

    At least the Home Office would not be able to say to parliamentarians that they had no information. Subsequent briefings would provide updates or the information that the Malyshevs’ relatives in the UK had not heard from either of them since [date of last contact]. Let such facts speak for themselves. But such an approach will have little chance of being helpful unless a steady flow of parliamentary interest in this case can be maintained. Others bloggers with experience of other dodgy deportations – to a variety of countries – may have useful tips on how to mobilise unpolemical pressure on Home Office/ FCO ministers.

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