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Gay Rights Activist in Russia Faces Deportation & Torture

Ali Feruz
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The Novaya Gazeta journalist is being handed over to Uzbekistan, where sodomy is a crime.

Ali Feruz, a journalist whose newspaper covered the gay purge in Chechnya, finds his future in jeopardy. The openly gay activist is being deported to Uzbekistan where he will likely be tortured for being homosexual.

Feruz, also known as Khudoberdi Nurmatov, fled Uzbekistan in 2009 after being detained and tortured by Uzbekistani authorities. Upon arriving in Russia, Feruz became a correspondent for Novaya Gazeta, the independent newspaper that first reported the gay concentration camps in Chechnya.

Related | 50 Congress Members Sign Letter Against Chechnya's Gay Concentration Camps

Feruz has sought asylum in Russia on refugee grounds, but officials have repeatedly rejected his appeals. On August 1st, a judge decided Feruz should be forcibly deported back to Uzbekistan, a decision that Amnesty International has equated with giving the gay activist a death sentence.

"Ali Feruz is openly gay, a human rights activist and a correspondent for the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper," said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International. "This is a near-lethal combination for someone who is about to be handed over to Uzbekistan, where 'sodomy' is a crime and torture is endemic."

Feruz's friends have set up a petition to keep Feruz in Russia. To sign the petition, click here.

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