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Khudoberdi Nurmatov (Ali Feruz)

HRD & Journalist
Novaya Gazeta

Khudoberdi Nurmatov, who writes under the pseudonym of Ali Feruz, is a human rights defender and journalist working for the Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta. He has reported extensively on violations of human rights in Central Asia and has also covered the conditions of work migrants, asylum seekers, vulnerable groups as well as the LGBT community in the Russian Federation. He has previously worked with Amnesty International and collaborated with various human rights groups in the region. Khudoberdi Nurmatov was born in Russia but moved to Uzbekistan at the age of 17, becoming an Uzbekistani national. He fled Uzbekistan in 2008 after being detained and tortured by security forces. The human rights defender eventually returned to Russia in 2011, and has been trying to gain refugee status since 2015.

The environment for the work of human rights defenders (HRDs) in the Russian Federation is difficult, especially for those who defend and promote the rights of LGBTI people, ethnic and religious minorities, refugees, as well as activists of the North Caucasus and the unlawfully annexed Crimean Peninsula. HRDs are often subjected to acts of harassment, surveillance, physical attacks, threat, raids and searches on their offices and homes, slander and smear campaigns, judicial harassment, arbitrary detention, and ill-treatment, as well as violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. There have also been cases where HRDs have been murdered as a result of their work.