Russia: Attack on Migrant Puts Racism Back on Agenda

An ugly dust-up in Moscow, seemingly provoked by racial hatred, has landed a migrant laborer from Tajikistan in the hospital and threatens to leave him blind in one eye.

On the evening of April 8, Tajik citizen Sulaiman Saidov was targeted in an apparently unprovoked assault that culminated in him being shot four times with an Osa traumatic handgun. Saidov’s cousin, Dilshod Abdurahmonov, told that the incident started when the attacker approached Saidov on a metro train and made a threatening remark: “Either you disappear or it will be the end of you.” Judging the man to be drunk, Saidov, who was in a metro carriage with another one of his cousins, 19-year old Muhammadjon Hakimov, ignored the warning.

“But then suddenly the man pulled out a pistol and fired one shot.

Russia, North Korea Deal Leaves Defectors Exposed, Activist Says

Svetlana Gannushkina said a repatriation agreement leaves North Koreans in Russia vulnerable to deportation.

MOSCOW, March 22 (UPI) – A Russian human rights activist said an agreement between Moscow and Pyongyang on North Korean defectors living in Russia is tantamount to a defector repatriation agreement. The agreement on the repatriation of “illegal” persons signed on Feb. 2 increases the vulnerability of North Korean refugees, said Svetlana Gannushkina, a prominent rights activist.

Kremlin Allots $3 Million to Help Resettle Ethnic Russians

The injection of funding is related to the recent influx of refugees from Ukraine to Russia, according to observers, and is aimed at assisting their resettlement.

The Russian government is allotting 200 million rubles (about $3 million) to regions that are implementing the program of voluntary resettlement of ethnic Russians to Russia. According to the government, the program is supposed to solve the problems facing ethnic Russians who remained abroad after the collapse of the USSR, as well as attract labor resources to the country.

For Refugees, Russia Is the Purgatory to North Korea’s Hell

In 2008, Ryu En Nam, a North Korean defector, was extradited from Russia and executed. He was tied to the train going back to North Korea. “It was horrible. The train started moving and for as long as he could, Ryu En Nam ran with it, ” human rights lawyer Lubov Tataretz said, recalling what a Korean diplomat’s son had told her, a few years after she tried and failed to prevent Ryu En Nam’s extradition.

Under a recently signed treaty, the few asylum seekers who manage to escape the hermit kingdom and make it to Russia will be forcibly repatriated, to a country where prison inmates have to burn bodies of those who starve to death and use the remains as fertilizer.
Two years ago in Moscow, on an icy winter day, Civic Assistance Committee, a leading Russian group to protect migrant rights, was hosting a press conference. It was a good conference, well attended, and, unlike the Kadyrov report press conference in Moscow last month, it ran smoothly, withoutheckling or bomb threats.

Russia Cancels Planned Deportation of Three Syrian Refugees

The deportation of three Syrian refugees from Russia has been cancelled, thanks to the efforts of several NGOs, Moscow’s Civil Assistance Committee reported Friday.

The Syrian refugees were brought to Moscow from Dagestan’s Makhachkala on Thursday. They were due to be deported to Damascus after their application for asylum was rejected by the Dagestan branch of Russia’s Federal Migration Service.

“They have been returned to Makhachkala.

Center for Refugee Children Evicted from Moscow Premises

Moscow authorities have evicted the Center for the Adaptation and Training of Refugee Children after its managing organization was declared a foreign agent, the center’s director Olga Nikolayenko told The Moscow Times Friday.

The center, which will celebrate its twentieth anniversary this year, is a project of the non-governmental organization Civil Assistance Committee. Since 1998, it has occupied premises at 33 Dolgorukovskaya Ulitsa, where volunteers helped the children of refugees adapt to life in Moscow.

Man Who Fled North Korea Makes Second Application For Temporary Asylum In Russia

The man, whose previous applications for asylum have been refused by Russia, faces almost certain death if he is deported

A refugee who fled a labour camp in North Korea and faces almost certain death if deported back has applied for a second time for temporary asylum in Russia. The 36-year-old, whose name is being withheld due to safety concerns, is unlikely to receive asylum but activists will continue to appeal until he receives some sort of status or can be moved to a third country, human rights campaigner Svetlana Gannushkina said.

Norway’s Asylum Policy In Chaos Amid Russian Intransigence

Human rights groups and church hit out at Norwegian government clampdown as Russian security concerns halt expulsions.

Norway’s attempt to deport hundreds of asylum seekers to Russia is in chaos after Moscow objected to the programme and politicians struggled to defend it in the face of criticism from human rights groups and the church. The temporary suspension of expulsions after Russia raised “security concerns” is a setback to Oslo’s attempts to plug the gap in its Arctic border and implement a strict clampdown on asylum.

No Assistance to Freezing Refugees In Murmansk

Murmansk authorities don’t provide any practical assistance to foreign refugees, crossing this region to reach Scandinavia, said Svetana Gannushkina, member of Presidential Human Rights Council and Chairman of Civic Assistance Commitee.

As a human rights activist told Rosbalt correspondent, officials use the fact that accodring to the law they are not obliged to help those, who are in transit through the country. “Refugees use Murmanks region only as a changing station. They go to Murmansk, then to Nikel, and only then to Norway or Finland.

Soros Foundation Recognized As Undesirable In Russia

The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has recognized undesirable several foreign non-profit organizations, such as the Open Society Foundation and the Assistance Foundation in Russia.

“This decision was taken, following an address by the Federation Council of the Russian Federal Assembly to the Russian general prosecutor, foreign minister and justice minister to inspect the organizations, which were put on the so-called ‘patriotic stop-list’, ” spokesperson of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office Marina Gridneva told Interfax on Nov. 30. She recalled that the ‘stop-list’ was approved by the Federation Council resolution as of July 8 this year, in which the activity of the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) is paid attention to.

“It was found out that the activity of the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation poses a threat to the foundations of the Russian constitutional system and security of the state, ” she said.

“The information about the taken decision was submitted to the Russian Justice Ministry to put these organizations on the list of foreign and international non-governmental organizations, the activity of which is recognized undesirable in Russia, ” Gridneva said.

Russia: Refugees Must Wait For Restoration of the Syrian Statehood

Accusing the Western countries in illegal invasion to Middle East and inhumane treatment of refugees, Russia does not try to help migrants on its own territory.

The Russian position is definite: “Refugees are definitely in need of compassion and support”, Vladimir Putin said at the UN, “But fundamental solving this problem is possible only by restoring the destroyed state.” Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said at a meeting of the Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union that the humanitarian crisis in Syria is the result of “short-sighted policies of some countries, illicit interference in the affairs of sovereign states.” As for the refugees, Matvienko chided Western countries in choosing the strategy of “all sorts of restrictions and obstacles” and urged to take into account Russia’s experience with migrants. The Russian experience is not too inspiring.

Syrian Migrant Family in Limbo at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport

For almost seven weeks a Syrian family has been camping-out in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. The Ahmads brought their four children to Russia seeking safety. But they were accused of using fake passports and refused asylum. Now the family are stuck in the transit zone. Below is the report of BBC News, Moscow.

It’s not hard to spot them through the glass walls of the old smoking room next to departure gate 36. They sit surrounded by the few bags of belongings they brought with them.

“This is for transit for one hour, for two hours, ” the eldest son, Rinas tells me in English. “But ours is for 40 days.