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Khudoberdi Nurmatov, a journalist and LGBT activist who was detained by Russian authorities last year for violating migration laws, was granted court permission to go to Germany after he faced deportation back to his native Uzbekistan. The court’s decision last weekend successfully overturned previous court orders in Russia, and Nurmatov left Russia by plane on Thursday. He originally migrated to Russia in order to escape imprisonment and persecution. In Moscow, he wrote under a pen name—Ali Feruz—for Russian investigative paper Novaya Gazeta, and was openly gay. He was detained by authorities in August last year, and it was feared by many that he would be deported and tortured in Uzbekistan.

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