S.B and S.Z v Russia: Expulsion orders to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan would amount to violation of Article 3 ECHR

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

On 8 October 2019, the European Court of Human Rights published its ruling on the case of S.B. and S.Z. v Russia (Application Nos. 65122/17 and 13280/18).

The case concerns one applicant from Tajikistan (S.B.) and one applicant from Uzbekistan (S.Z.). Their extradition was sought by their respective national authorities on charges of religiously and politically motivated crimes and dissent. Following the issuance of international arrest warrants, the Russian authorities made the decision to extradite the applicants. S.B and S.Z subsequently complained that they would face a real risk of ill treatment contrary to Article 3 of the Convention if they were to be returned to their countries of origin.

The Court noted the existence of severe punishments for crimes relating to political and religious dissent in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and reiterated its position adopted in previous extradition case law. It was therefore satisfied that the Russian authorities should have had substantial grounds to believe that the applicants would face a real risk of ill treatment upon return. It is noted that S.B was deported to Tajikistan on 4 September 2017, while S.Z still remains in Russia. 

The Court held that, by ordering the expulsion of the applicants, the Russian authorities had failed to conduct a rigorous scrutiny of the real risk facing the applicants as a result of their charges. It was therefore satisfied that the applicants fell within the meaning of a vulnerable group facing a real risk of ill treatment and consequently held that the deportation of S.B to Tajikistan amounted to a violation of Article 3 ECHR. The Court also held that the expulsion of S.Z. to Uzbekistan, if carried out, would amount to a violation of Article 3 ECHR.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is pusexblished but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.



Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Political Opinion