Azerbaijan: Chechen refugees in peril

Azerbaijani authorities have decided to deport another Chechen refugee, Yusup Nagayev, to Russia. Mr Nagayev, 40, has stayed in Azerbaijan since 2000 under the protection of the UNHCR. Mr Nagayev used to be the driver of the Deputy Prime Minister under Chechen President Zelimkhan Yandarbiev.

Mr Nagayev was arrested in April 2008, following a Russian request for his extradition. Azeri authorities have decided to hand him over to the Russian authorities, and the UNHCR office in Baku has failed to protect him. Two of Mr Nagayev’s brothers have also fled Chechnya. His third brother was tortured to death in Chechnya.

Azerbaijan has deported several Chechen refugees to Russia; some have been kidnapped and later found dead in Chechnya. There are reports that the Azeri government has struck a deal with Moscow regarding Chechen refugees. There are an estimated 2,000 Chechen refugees in Azerbaijan.

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