[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday ruled [judgment text; press release] that Russia violated the civil rights of 13 men accused of terrorism in Uzbekistan by detaining them without trial for 20 months. In 2006, Russia agreed to extradite [JURIST report] the 13 men to Uzbekistan to face charges connected with a 2005 uprising in Andijan [JURIST news archive] that resulted in the massacre of unarmed Uzbek civilians [BBC backgrounder], but the ECHR Thursday ruled that deporting the men to Uzbekistan would further violate their rights. AP has more.
Memorial [advocacy website], a Moscow-based human rights group, has said the cases against the 13 men are false and that they may face torture if they return to Uzbekistan. Memorial has also asserted that the men have been determined to be refugees by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees [official website], but that the Russian government has refused to recognize their refugee status. The Russian Prosecutor General's office [official website, in Russian] had temporarily halted the extradition [JURIST report] of the 13 men while the case was pending before the ECHR.