Target: Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain
Goal: Prevent the extradition of an asylum-seeker to his native Kazakhstan, where he would likely face torture
Aleksandr Pavlov, a native of Kazakhstan, has been in Spanish custody since he arrived in the country in late 2012. Now it appears that he will be extradited to Kazakhstan to stand trial for crimes he has been accused of there. Kazakhstan has a dismal human rights record, and it is likely that Pavlov will face torture if the extradition goes ahead. Sign the petition and urge Spanish authorities to halt Pavlov’s extradition to Kazakhstan.
Kazakh authorities have accused Aleksandr Pavlov of “expropriation or embezzlement of trusted property” and “plotting a terrorist attack,” Amnesty International reports. Pavlov and his lawyer have vehemently contested this, and Amnesty International fears that Pavlov is being targeted for his association with opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov, who was declared a refugee in Britain but is currently facing extradition from France to Kazakhstan. Pavlov worked as a security guard for Ablyazov for over ten years.
A number of people in Kazakhstan have been arrested and subjected to unfair trials as a result of their links to Mukhtar Ablyazov, Amnesty International reports. To make matters worse, “[t]orture and ill-treatment are routine interrogation methods in Kazakhstan and are also used to discipline convicted prisoners.” Under international agreements, Spain is prohibited from extraditing a prisoner to a country where he or she faces torture or other human rights violations. The Spanish judicial system has green-lighted the extradition twice already; the final decision now rests with the Spanish Council of Ministers. Stand up for human rights. Speak out against Aleksandr Pavlov’s extradition.
Dear Prime Minister,
Freedom from torture–both during interrogations and while serving prison sentences–is one of the most basic human rights to which a person is entitled. However, if Aleksandr Pavlov is extradited to his native Kazakhstan, it is likely that he will face torture and other ill-treatment. Please do the right thing and halt Pavlov’s extradition. Anything less would be a black mark on Spain’s human rights record.
Pavlov and his lawyer have vehemently denied the charges levied against him by Kazakh authorities, and Amnesty International believes that Pavlov has become caught up the Kazakhstani government’s systematic persecution of anyone connected to opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov. The organization has monitored many cases involving people linked to Ablyzov, and it reports that the proceedings are often characterized by unfair trials and an inappropriate degree of political influence. Pavlov worked for Ablyzov as a security guard for over a decade.
Under its obligations the world community, Spain is prohibited from extraditing a prisoner to a country where he or she is likely to face torture or other ill-treatment. Moving Aleksandr Pavlov to Kazakhstan would constitute a violation of not only his human rights but of Spain’s commitment to international human rights agreements. Do the right thing: do not extradite Aleksandr Pavlov to Kazakhstan.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: DrJohn2005 via Flickr