Infamous journalist Ali Feruz facing deportation from Russia tries to commit suicide in court

Infamous journalist Ali Feruz facing deportation from Russia tries to commit suicide in court
Khudoberdi Nurmatov Photo: Alexander Miridonov / Kommersant

Khudoberdi Nurmatov, Novaya Gazeta journalist who was subject to deportation from Russia, tried to commit suicide using a ballpoint pen.⁠

Khudoberdi Nurmatov, journalist of Novaya Gazeta, who was deported from Russia and is known under pseudonym Ali Feruz, tried to commit suicide in court, a source in the police told RIA Novosti.

"Nurmatov tried to commit suicide, but the bailiffs stopped him on time. The migrant with a difficult past working in Novaya Gazeta is ready to take extreme measures not to return home. It is known that he avoided the embassy of Uzbekistan, so as not to restore his allegedly lost passport", - said the source of RIA Novosti.

A friend of Nurmatov, Pavel Gafarov, referring to journalist Elena Kostyuchenko, confirmed to RBC the information about the attempt to commit suicide. "Yes, I would like it to be untrue, but he really tried to commit suicide", said Nurmatov's friend.

Nurmatov's lawyer Daniil Khaimovich also confirmed to RBC that his client was trying to commit suicide, specifying the details. "It happened in the corridor of the court. Immediately after the verdict was passed [on his expulsion from Russia]. He tried to open the veins with a pen. But the bailiffs prevented him from doing it, twisted his hands, and handcuffed him so that he could not hurt himself", - said Khaimovich.

According to the source, Nurmatov has been illegally staying in Russia since 2011, and since 2012 he was in the territory of the country without any identity documents. The source also informed that in 2012 he allegedly lost the expired passport of Uzbekistan and for five years could not restore it. The interlocutor of the agency noted that since 2015 Nurmatov has been working in Novaya Gazeta without a work permit.

According to the interlocutor of the agency, previously Nurmatov adhered to radical Islamic views. The source of the agency added that in 2008 the journalist was involved in the case on recruitment to Takfir wal-Hijra extremist organization, banned in Russia. He noted that Tambov resident Alexey Nikitin, convicted of terrorism in 2009, said that it was Nurmatov who engaged him in the Islamist underground, adding that the journalist was dealt with recruiting into illegal armed units.

Earlier, the Moscow Basmanny Court ruled to expel Nurmatov, Novaya Gazeta correspondent, because he violated the regime of staying in the territory of Russia.

"By the ruling as of 01.08.2017, Nurmatov Kh.T. was found guilty of committing an administrative offense, provided under part 3.1 of Art. 18.8 of the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses, a fine of 5,000 rubles ($82.4) was imposed with administrative expulsion outside the Russian Federation", - the press service of the court told RBC.

Lawyer Daniil Khaimovich confirmed this information to RBC. Nurmatov can appeal the decision of the court within ten days. The journalist was detained "under the formal pretext of checking documents" near the editorial office and taken to the police department of Basmanny district for identity verification.

According to Novaya Gazeta, Nurmatov was put in custody in the courtroom and sent to prison for expelled foreigners.

During the hearing, journalist of the newspaper Elena Kostyuchenko spoke in court, who told how Nurmatov was tortured in Uzbekistan. The defendant himself stated that he legally resided in Russia. "I want you to take into account that all the relatives are Russian citizens: sister, mother, brother", the journalist said. According to him, he studied at a Russian school, then left for Uzbekistan, got citizenship and soon returned to Russia, where he entered the university.

In May the Ministry of Internal Affairs denied the journalist the right to political asylum. According to Novaya Gazeta, on July 31, Nurmatov appealed to the court due to the MIA's refusal to grant him temporary asylum in Russia and before the court considers his complaint, he can stay in Russia.

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