Target: Ing. Martin Pecina, MBA, Minister of the Interior
Goal: Prevent Kazakhstani woman from being extradited to Ukraine or Russia, where she would likely face the prospect of torture.
Tatiana Paraskevich, a dual citizen of Russia and Kazakhstan, is accused by prosecutors in Russia and Ukraine of financial crimes related to Kazakhstani activist Mukhtar Ablyazov. Both countries are requesting her extradition from the Czech Republic, where she is currently detained. If the Czech Republic complies with this request, however, Paraskevich will be at great risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Sign the petition and urge Czech authorities to do both what is right and what is required by international law, and refuse to extradite Tatiana Paraskevich.
The bureaucratic machinations behind Paraskevich’s precarious position are convoluted. Authorities in Kazakhstan certainly want her back, but they have apparently not submitted any request to the Czech Republic for her extradition, whereas both Ukraine and Russia have. Either of the latter countries has the potential to act as a middleman, gaining custody of Tatiana Paraskevich only to drop her back in Kazakhstan.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s human rights record is very worrisome, with Amnesty International reporting that “[t]orture and ill-treatment are routine interrogation methods” in the country. The human rights organization adds that convicted prisoners are also subjected to torture as a form of punishment.
Under international law, no country can forcibly expel a person who faces human rights violations in his or her destination country. If the Czech Republic extradites Tatiana Paraskevich to either Ukraine or Russia, it is placing her at serious risk of another extradition, which in turn would put her at great risk of torture. Sign the petition and urge the Czech Republic to do everything it can to protect Tatiana Paraskevich from ill-treatment.
I am writing to express my deep concern over the pending extradition of Tatiana Paraskevich, who has been imprisoned in Pilsen for a year and a half. Going forward with her extradition to Ukraine would put Paraskevich at serious risk of being returned to Kazakhstan, where she faces torture or ill-treatment. Please honor the Czech Republic’s obligations under international law and deny Ukraine and Russia’s extradition requests.
Paraskevich, it is true, has been accused of financial crimes in both Russia and Ukraine. However, international human rights laws forbid countries to forcibly expel people who would be at risk of human rights violations in their destination countries. Kazakhstan has a history of using torture and ill-treatment as both interrogation tactics and methods of punishment, and Russia and Ukraine do not have the strongest human rights track records, either. There is a very good possibility that extraditing Paraskevich to either Russia or Ukraine would simply result in her being passed along to Kazakhstan, where she would likely be singled out due to her association with opposition leader Mukhtar Ablyazov.
Given Ukraine and Russia’s own histories of torture, ill-treatment, and other human rights violations, the Czech Republic cannot trust either country’s diplomatic assurances that Paraskevich will not be returned to Kazakhstan. Please abide by international law and decline to extradite Tatiana Paraskevich.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: J.A. Alcaide via Flickr