Chechens deported from Norway tortured to death
Two Chechen men who were denied asylum in Norway on the grounds that their “fears of prosecution were unfounded” were tortured to death on their return.
Apti Nazjujev, part of the resistance against Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, sought political asylum in Norway in 200, but Norwegian authorities expelled him to Chechnya in 2011.
Nazjujev was in 2013 found dead in a river, with his teeth and nails pulled out, his knee caps shattered, broken skull and deep lacerations on his body, according to an autopsy report examined by Norwegian magazine Ny Tid.
Umar Bilemkhanov, another Chechen dissident, was deported to Russia in 2011 after appealing his case to Norway’s High Court.
The court found that Bilemkhanov’s life would be in danger if he was deported to Chechnya, but not to Russia.
On arrival in Moscow, Bilemkhanov was questioned by Russian service FSB and then forcibly returned to Chechnya, where he was tortured with electrical cables.
He was later found dead in 2012, in what Chechen authorities claimed was a car accident.
Several organisations including the Helsinki committee and Russian Human Rights organisation Memorial warned Norway the two men would be in grave danger if they were returned to Chechnya or Russia, but their pleas were ignored.
“It is proven that Norway has sent people back to torture,” Lene Wetteland of the Helsinki Committee told Ny Tid. “These two came to Norway for protection, and they were sent back to torture. Norway cannot do this according to several conventions.”
“I am angry that Norwegian authorities don’t listen to us. It is really upsetting that you cannot get through to them.”
Norway’s Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) this week maintained that the decisions they took in the two cases had been correct.
“We think that the decisions taken were correct. One case was tried in court by three different bodies, and they all agreed with UNE,” Torgeir Tofte Jørgensen of UNE told Ny Tid.
“The other was sent to Moscow because we thought it would be dangerous for him in Chechnya. He travelled to Chechnya on his own. The other person was in Chechnya for a year and a half before something is claimed to happened.”