Moscow Basmanny Court judge Elena Lenskaya announced on Friday that Ali Feruz (real name: Khudoberdi Nurmatov) has the right to leave Russia, paving the way for the beleaguered journalist to escape both Russia. Feruz has been living in a temporary detention center since last summer, and his native country, Uzbekistan, to which Russian officials have twice tried to deport him for violations of travel laws and labor code. He says he will be tortured by the police if he returns to Uzbekistan.
On January 24, Russia’s Supreme Court threw out a deportation order from August 2017 (which hadn’t yet been implemented, thanks to a stay order by the European Court of Human Rights), and ordered a retrial.
There are two trials against Ali Feruz. On February 2, the Moscow City Court ruled that he can leave the country, if he can produce the necessary travel documents, but this was only in connection with the travel-law violations against the journalist. Lenskaya is presiding over the labor-code violations case.
Feruz says he doesn’t want to stay in Russia and might go to Germany using papers from the Red Cross. Judge Lenskaya says she'll review these documents as soon as Monday, February 12.