Egypt deports son of Chechen leader to Moscow

Egypt forcibly deported the son of a Chechen leader to Moscow on Friday despite warnings the 22-year-old student who could face torture if returned to Russia, Amnesty International said.

The deportation of Maskhud Abdullayev comes ahead of a visit to Cairo on Tuesday by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, whose country has occupied Muslim Chechnya.

Rights group Amnesty International said Abdullayev, son of leader Supyan Abdullayev, was deported on a flight to Moscow along with another fellow Chechen, both arrested in May.

Egypt had deported four other Chechens on Thursday to Moscow.

“The Egyptian authorities are again returning people to countries where they would be at risk of torture in total disregard to the principle of non-refoulement,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa programme of Amnesty International.

 “We fear more students might be detained in Egypt and face the same risk of deportation,” she added in a statement sent to Reuters.

  “Hostage”

 Maskhud’s uncle, Ruslan Abdullayev, told Reuters in Cairo said he feared his nephew would be held hostage to put pressure on his relatives among Chechen fighters to surrender.

“If a father, brother or cousin is in the (Chechen) resistance, the Russian authorities take a relative, a young man, a father, they take him and order the (fighter): ‘Hand yourself over, or I’ll kill (him),'” Ruslan said.

He added that Maskhud left Chechnya as a child and had nothing to do with the conflict there.

“He never broke the law, in Russia, Chechnya or Egypt. He has nothing to do with those things. He’s just a young man studying here,” Ruslan said.

The Chechens Egypt is deporting were students at Cairo’s al-Azhar University and all claimed refugee status in Azerbaijan before moving to Egypt to study, according to Amnesty. They have not been allowed to fly to Azerbaijan.

Amnesty said about 35 Muslim students, mainly from the provinces of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan, were arrested in May during a wave of detentions of foreign students at al-Azhar.

A spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency said it had asked the Egyptian government grant it access to the men.

Amnesty says it regularly receives reports of detainees being tortured in Russia, while in Chechnya detainees are at risk of torture, extrajudicial execution and enforced disappearance.

Source: Agencies

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