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Aug 8, 5:46 AM EDT

Russian court halts journalist's deportation to Uzbekistan

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MOSCOW (AP) -- A Moscow court has stopped the deportation of a Russian reporter to his native Uzbekistan, bowing to a European court's order.

The European Court of Human Rights has obliged Russia to halt Khudoberdy Nurmatov's deportation amid rights activists' fear he might face torture in Uzbekistan.

On Tuesday, the Moscow City Court suspended an earlier ruling to deport Nurmatov in accordance with the Strasbourg court's verdict.

The court ordered Nurmatov, who was born in Russia but grew up in Uzbekistan, to stay in a detention facility for foreigners pending the European court's hearings.

Nurmatov, who writes for Russian Novaya Gazeta newspaper under the pen name Ali Feruz, fled Uzbekistan in 2008 after he was tortured and coerced into collaborating with intelligence agencies. He has been denied asylum in Russia several times.

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