COPENHAGEN, 30 December 2013 – Isabel Santos (Portugal), Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, met with Aleksandr Pavlov today in Madrid and raised concerns over his possible extradition to Kazakhstan.

"I met with Mr. Pavlov today and he is in good health. He denied all accusations leveled against him. I am deeply concerned about the possibility that Mr. Pavlov's fundamental rights may be violated in order to obtain a 'confession' should he be extradited to Kazakhstan. All countries, including Spain, must ensure that extradition does not put an individual at risk of ill-treatment, and that they do not become party to the abuse of Interpol by any country for possible political motives," Santos said.

Santos had requested to visit Pavlov in custody in Madrid in October, but was denied.

Aleksandr Pavlov formerly served as chief of security to Mukhtar Ablyazov, a Kazakh businessman and prominent opposition figure.

He was detained by Spanish authorities in 2012 on an Interpol warrant requested by Kazakhstan, which accuses Pavlov of financial and terrorism-related crimes. Spain has also denied Pavlov's request for asylum.

On 18 November, the country's high court approved Pavlov's extradition. The final decision in the case will be made by Spain's Council of Ministers.

Pavlov's lawyers accuse Kazakhstan of persecuting him for his connection to Ablyazov and have filed an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against the Spanish court's ruling. Rights groups fear that Pavlov may be tortured or receive an unfair trial if extradited.

Santos added: "I will continue to monitor this case and am confident about the ECHR's decision. I will also maintain close contact with my Spanish colleagues, several of whom have also voiced their concerns about Mr. Pavlov's possible extradition. I remain troubled by setbacks to the rule of law in several OSCE Participating States, as exemplified by this case and others like it."

Ignacio Sánchez Amor, the Deputy Head of the Spanish Delegation to the OSCE PA, said:

"A group of Spanish MPs from 4 political groups, including myself, have been in contact with Mr. Pavlov's lawyers. We have had interviews with high-level governmental officials and we have sent the Ministry of Justice a letter asking that the extradition not take place. We applaud and support the moves of our Portuguese colleague, Isabel Santos, who has shown enormous patience with the Spanish authorities in seeking to visit Mr. Pavlov."