Moscow Court Rejects Uzbek Journalist's Appeal Against Deportation Ruling

A Moscow court has rejected a legal claim filed against Russia's Interior Ministry by Ali Feruz, an Uzbek correspondent for Russia's independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper.

Feruz filed the appeal after Russian immigration authorities in 2015 refused to grant him political asylum -- a decision that subsequently led to a court order for his deportation to Uzbekistan over alleged immigration-law violations.

Moscow's Basmanny district court on October 20 ruled that immigration officials were correct to refuse asylum because Feruz failed to prove he faced danger in Uzbekistan.

The October 20 ruling contradicts an August 4 order by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that suspended Feruz's deportation to Uzbekistan.

The ECHR order was issued after rights groups said they feared Feruz could face torture, imprisonment, or even death at the hands of Uzbek authorities.

Feruz is to remain at a Moscow holding center for foreigners until the ECHR issues a final decision about his case.

Feruz, whose real name is Hudoberdi Nurmatov, was born in Siberia in 1986.

He left Russia for Uzbekistan at the age of 17 to live with his Uzbek stepfather and accepted Uzbek citizenship.

But he fled Uzbekistan in 2008, alleging he was detained and tortured for two days by members of Uzbekistan's security service.

Prominent rights activists and intellectuals in Russia have called on the Kremlin to not deport Feruz.

Based on reporting by Novaya Gazeta and Interfax