Anastasia Denisova, an alumna of the MA in ‘Understanding and Securing Human Rights’ (2015-2016), School of Advanced Study, University of London interviewed Svetlana Gannushkina, the Director of ‘Civic Assistance’ NGO (Moscow) and a 2016 laureate of the prestigious Right Livelihood Award for ‘her decades-long commitment to promoting human rights and justice for refugees and forced migrants, and tolerance among different ethnic groups’.
Dear Ms Gannushkina, congratulations with receiving the award that is more well-known as an Alternative Peace Nobel Prize! It is indeed well-deserved.
Russia has been ordered to pay more than 80,000 euros ($86,870) to four men forced to live in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport while applying for asylum.
Three of the men, from Iraq, Palestine and Syria, were forced to wait in the airport for more than five months after being turned away at the Russian border. The fourth man, a Somalian national, lived in the transit zone for almost two years before giving up on his asylum application.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that Russia had deprived the men of their liberty and subjected them to “inhumane treatment.”
The men survived thanks to weekly deliveries of food and toiletries by Russia’s UN Refugee Committee, but were not given access to basic facilities such as showers, the ECtHR found.
In the morning of March 17 Moscow police detained uzbek journalist Khudoberdi Nurmatov. He has been working as a correspondent with the Novaya Gazeta, and is now threatened with extradition to Uzbekistan, where he could be tortured.
In journalism, Nurmatov is also known as pseudonym Ali Feruz. The chief of the Novaya Gazeta investigatory department, Olga Bobrova, writes, “Khudoberdi is Ali’s name by passport but it’s the name which makes one’s life in Moscow difficult. Therefore, he has been working under pseudonym in journalism”.
Two groups of people aimed for Scandinavia, but were stopped by the FSB.
Two Iranian citizens were on 26th February detained in Nikel, the Russian border town, ahead of an alleged illegal border-crossing to Norway. According to Interfax, the migrants had with them snowshoes, a tent, warm clothes and other items for harsh winter survival. The Iranians were forced by the FSB to buy air tickets back to Moscow and then return to Iran, the news agency writes.
A court in Russia’s Leningrad region dismissed the case against Choi Myung-bok, a North Korean defector set to be deported for violating migration laws, the Memorial human rights group reported Monday. Choi no longer faces deportation to North Korea, where he would most likely be executed for fleeing the labor camp he was sent to. He plans to apply for official refugee status once again.
Choi, 54, lives in a small town in the Leningrad region with his Russian partner and their two children. In 1999, North Korean authorities sent him to a labor camp in the Russian Far Eastern Amur region, which he fled in 2002.
Noginsk, a Russian provincial town about 40 miles from Moscow, is widely known as a place where the first monument to Lenin was established. It is also traditionally known by its industries, especially textile production. Recently, however, the town has become known as the place with the largest group of Syrian refugees in Russia.
Mohammad Al-Fallah, 32, came to Noginsk from Aleppo in 2013. He came to Noginsk, as many others did, to avoid war and with the hope of finding a home and peace.
In slum settlements on the outskirts of Moscow, foreign workers are adjusting to the realities of Russia’s economic crisis.
Not so long ago, the migrant population of Chelobityevo in northern Moscow lived in fear of the police. These were times when uniformed officers would descend on the village unannounced, beating and arresting undocumented workers in their path.
The Norwegian government continued construction of a fence at the Storskog border crossing in the Sor-Varanger province, along the border with Russia, Friday, after thousands of Syrian refugees reportedly fled into the country.
Chechen asylum seekers say they are stranded in ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ and are turned away at Polish border.
Brest, Belarus – At noon each day, the small, echoing arrivals hall of the Soviet-era train station in the Belarusian city of Brest is lined with people waiting to meet relatives who have been turned away from the border with Poland.
“We do not know if they made it, ” says an elderly Chechen woman waiting with her daughter as she watches the wooden arrivals doors. Like many others at the train station, her family has been divided as some members have attempted to cross into Poland.
Of the hundreds who attempt the crossing each day, only one or two families are typically permitted to enter.
Russia’s contribution to meeting the needs of refugees displaced by the Syrian conflict has been negligible, while its military involvement in the conflict has been significant. Russia should use the upcoming summit meetings on the global refugee crisis to make commitments to share responsibility for refugees in line with its capacity.
The United Nations Refugee and Migration Summit will be held on September 19, 2016, followed by a Leaders’ Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis the next day. Russia should also address serious shortcomings in its asylum system that are preventing most Syrian asylum seekers who have made it to Russian territory from receiving the protection they are entitled to under international law.