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Chechen Presidential Envoy Arrested On UK Arrival

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

AI-index: EUR 46/069/2002 06/12/2002

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE
News Flash

UK/Russian Federation: Chechen presidential envoy arrested on arrival to the UK after having been released in Denmark

Amnesty International is urging the UK authorities not to extradite Akhmed Zakayev to the Russian Federation as he may be tortured or ill-treated upon return to Russia.

"Given the widespread use of torture and ill-treatment by the Russian authorities, there are good reasons to fear for Akhmed Zakayev's physical safety if he is sent back there," the organization said.

Moreover, in light of the inadequacies of the Russian criminal justice system, Amnesty International is concerned that Akhmed Zakayev may not be given a fair trial in the Russian Federation.

Akhmed Zakayev, an envoy of the Chechen President, was arrested on his arrival to the UK from Copenhagen on 5 December 2002 and was later released on bail. He is due to appear before Bow Street Magistrates' Court, London on 11 December 2002.

Earlier this week Amnesty International welcomed the decision of Denmark's Justice Ministry to release Akhmed Zakayev, after his extradition was requested by the Russian authorities.

For further information contact the Russia Press Officer Lydia Aroyo on +44 20 7413 5599 or +44 7798 555 629, e-mail: laroyo@amnesty.org; or the Russia Researcher Kim Wiesener on +44 20 7413 5618.

Visit the Amnesty International Russia Campaign website:

http://click.topica.com/maaaG4DaaULstbb0hPub/

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