08ASTANA827, KAZAKHSTAN – ARREST OF UZBEK CITIZEN CONNECTED TO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA827 2008-04-25 11:44 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTA #0827 1161144
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 251144Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2311
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0495
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1906

C O N F I D E N T I A L ASTANA 000827 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/25/2018 
TAGS: PREF PHUM PREL KZ UZ
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN - ARREST OF UZBEK CITIZEN CONNECTED TO 
ANDIJAN EVENTS 
 
REF: O'MARA-FAGIN APRIL 24 EMAIL 
 
Classified By: Pol/Econ Chief Steven Fagin, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1. (C) On April 25, Pol-Econ chief raised with MFA Americas 
Department head Talgat Kaliyev media reports that on April 
20, Kazakhstani law enforcement authorities in Almaty had 
arrested Uzbek citizen Rafik Rakhmonov on various counts of 
participating in the 2005 Andijan events.  A UNHCR 
spokesperson in Almaty was quoted in the press explaining 
that Rakhmonov had been registered recently by UNHCR as an 
asylum seeker.  Pol-Econ chief explained to Kaliyev that 
Washington was concerned about the case, and while the timing 
of the arrest may have been a pure coincidence, there was the 
unfortunate appearance that it was a "deliverable" for Uzbek 
President Karimov's April 22-23 visit to Kazakhstan.  He 
reminded Kaliyev that Kazakhstan had a strong record of 
non-refoulement of refugees, and asked Kaliyev to look into 
the Rakhmonov case and bring USG concerns to the attention of 
the Kazakhstani officials dealing with it.  Kaliyev promised 
to follow up on this request. 
 
2. (C) In a subsequent April 25 meeting in Almaty, Poloff 
discussed the Rakhmonov case with UNHCR Protection Officer 
Narasimha Rao.  According to Rao, Rakhmonov approached UNHCR 
with a request for refugee status on or about April 10. 
Rakhmonov told UNHCR that he had been living in Kazakhstan 
for almost three years, and had not previously approached 
UNHCR because he had felt safe until very recently, when he 
saw himself mentioned on Uzbek television.  Rao told Poloff 
that UNHCR had not yet conducted a refugee interview with 
Rakhmonov, so he did not know whether Rakhmonov would merit 
refugee status.  Following Rakhmonov's arrest, UNHCR sent a 
diplomatic note requesting that arrangements be made so UNHCR 
could conduct a refugee interview, in accordance with 
Kazakhstan's international obligations.  While UNHCR has not 
yet received a formal response, the MFA has informally 
assured UNHCR that the proper process will be adhered to in 
this case. 
ORDWAY

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