Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Uzbekistan - COI

Anyone struggling for an Uzbek interpreter should contact Nafisa O'Brien on +44 7974 257 859.

Bill Bowring

Email: b [dot] bowringatbbk [dot] ac [dot] uk

Professor Bowring is a legal academic and practising barrister with experience in the Former Soviet Union (FSU), and Turkey. He is a Professor of Law at Birkbeck College, University of London, where he is also the Director of the LLM/MA in Human Rights. As part of the LLM/MA he teaches courses in international minority rights and “Taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)”, as well as other courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level in international law and human rights. He has more than 150 publications including two books and is fluent in Russian. He participated in 1992 in the founding of the Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP). Until 2012 when KHRP was closed, he took many cases against Turkey to the ECtHR. He was founder in 2003 and still active in the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC) taking a large number of cases against Russia and other FSU countries. He regularly provides expert evidence concerning these countries in asylum appeals and extradition cases, mostly Legal Aid (publicly funded). In all this work he complies with the Nairobi Code.

Prof. Dr. Judith Beyer

Email: beyer [dot] judithatgmail [dot] com

Judith Beyer is Full Professor of Social and Political Anthropology at the University of Konstanz in Germany. She specializes in legal anthropology and has conducted long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan) and Southeast Asia (Myanmar).  Her research focuses on the anthropology of law, the anthropology of the state and statelessness, and theories of sociality and social order.

Marjorie Farquharson

Email: mmfatblueyonder [dot] co [dot] uk

Marjorie Farquharson has worked in the field of human rights and the USSR and post-Soviet states for 30 years. She has given her expert opinion on 43 cases involving asylum seekers to the UK. She has been a freelance researcher, writer and translator since 2001 and has worked in all five Central Asian States. She has done numerous research projects for UNDP, UNHCR and Amnesty International as well as independent research on Central Asian states. She was Amnesty International's first representative in the Soviet bloc from 1994-1996 as the Director of the EU Tacis project. As a Council of Europe officer she has worked in 44 of Russia's federal regions and helped establish a regional ombudsman institution there. She is the author of several publications on Central Asia. She is capable of giving her expertise on all Central Asian states, namely, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Marjorie is not able to provide her services pro bono, however, she is willing to negotiate a fee.

Professor Nazif Shahrani

Email: sharahniatindiana [dot] edu

M Nazif Shahrani is Professor of Anthropology, Central Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, has served two terms as Chairman of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and Director of the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program at IU. Shahrani is an Afghan-American anthropologist with extensive field research in Afghanistan, and has studied Afghan refugee communities in Pakistan & Turkey. Since 1992 he has also conducted field research in post-Soviet Muslim republics of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. He is interested in the impact of Islam on social life, institutional dynamics and political culture of Muslims, problems of state-failure, role of nationalism in social fragmentation in multi-ethnic nation-states, and the political economy of international assistance to postcolonial failing states and its consequences. He grew-up bilingual in Uzbek & Tajik/Dari/Farsi, learned Pashtu, Kyrgyz, English and some Arabic.

Dr. Ganiev Shukhrat

Email: shukhrat9atgmail [dot] com

Dr. Shukhrat Ganiev is the  coordinator of the Central Asian network for the protection of human rights defenders and Director of the HUMANITARIAN LEGAL CENTER in Uzbekistan. He specializes in developing strategies of preventing social and ethnic conflicts and in analysing situations of migrant workers and illegal traffic of women and children. He can write about the  violations of the rights of ethnic minorities in Uzbekistan, the rights of vulnerable groups- women and children from Uzbekistan in Russian and Kazakhstan.

Natalya Stepanova-Sipper, LL.M

Email: sipperatconsolidated [dot] net

Natalya Stepanova-Sipper is an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law since January 2001, where she teaches, inter alia, Introduction to Russian and Uzbek Legal Systems (major topics: civil, commercial, constitutional, criminal and human rights laws). She is also the owner of the Stepanova-Sipper's Central Asian Consulting since 1999.

For more than 25 years, Mrs. Stepanova-Sipper has advised on and given formal legal opinions with respect to aspects of Uzbek laws before Uzbek and American courts, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Department of Justice, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Curator’s Office of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, international organizations, companies and private persons. She also provided expert witness testimony for political asylum petitions. Mrs. Stepanova-Sipper is fluent in Russian and English, and can communicate in Ukrainian.

Dr. Rano Turaeva-Hoehne 

Email: r [dot] turaevaatgmail [dot] com

Dr. Rano Turaeva-Hoehne is a Senior Researcher affiliated at Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Germany and is a part-time lecturer at the Institute for Social Anthropology of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. She also is an independent expert and consultant, writing expert reports on various issues including: Ethnic and religious minorities, victims of domestic violence, political refugees, war refugees, mentally sick persons, health systems, political and economic environment, stateless persons, other social groups, victims of human trafficking, illegal migrants, state and citizenship, Soviet Union , post-Soviet republics, religion and security, gender and violence, legal systems, document production, assessment of documents from country of origin. She has written over 100 COI reports, and compiled the Country of Origin Information on Turkmenistan for UNHCR. Her PhD was titled "Identification, Discrimination, and Communication: Khorezmian migrants in Tashkent", and her research was situated in the context of post-Soviet developments in newly independent states. She recently completed the book "Migration and Identity: Inside Uzbekistan" (2016). She is a native speaker of Uzbek and has grade 3 knowledge (on a scale of 5) of the Turkmen, Kazakh and Kyrgyz languages. She had also done consultancy work for IDEA on "COVID and human rights in Eastern Europe and Baltic countries”.

Professor Sebastien Peyrouse

Email: speyrouseatemail [dot] gwu [dot] edu

Mr. Sebastien Peyrouse is a Research Professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University and a Senior Research Fellow at East-West Institute in Washington D.C. Prior to joining the George Washington University and the East-West Institute, Prof. Peyrouse worked at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute& Silk Road Studies Program as well as at the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm. His main areas of expertise are political systems in Central Asia, Islam and religious minorities, and Central Asia’s geopolitical positioning toward China, Russia and South Asia. Professor Peyrouse is the author of Turkmenistan. Strategies of Power, Dilemmas of Development (M. E. Sharpe, 2011), and the co-author of The 'Chinese Question' in Central Asia. Domestic Order, Social Changes, and the Chinese Factor (Hurst, Columbia University Press, 2012) and of Globalizing Central Asia. Geopolitics and the Challenges of Economic Development (M.E. Sharpe, 2012). He has also co-edited China and India in Central Asia. A new "Great Game"? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), and Mapping Central Asia: Indian Perceptions and Strategies (Ashgate, 2011). 

Prof Slavomír Horák

Email: slavomir [dot] horakatpost [dot] cz

Slavomír Horák is an Associate Professor of Political and Cultural Geography at the Department of Russian and East European Studies, Institute of International Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague. His research covers political, social and economic issues in Central Asia. He is the author of several books on Central Asian and Afghan internal development as well as numerous articles published in Czech, Russian and English scholarly journals. He particularly focuses on Turkmenistan's domestic issues, especially informal politics and state- and nation-building. Slavomir Horak is willing to provide his services for a negotiable fee. He is a native Czech speaker and has highly advanced knowledge in Russian and advanced knowledge in English. He has intermediate knowledge in Persia/Tajik, Georgian and Spanish and can comprehend reading in Turkmen, Azeri, French or Ukrainian.