Svetlana Gannushkina on the situation of Chechens in Europe

posted 9 Mar 2011, 08:59 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 9 Mar 2011, 09:06 ]
The main problem is legislation.They don’t have the status of refugees or any other protection. They cannot work, and of course that makes it very difficult for them.

“What kind of problems do Chechens face in Europe? The main problem is legislation.They don’t have the status of refugees or any other protection. They cannot work, and of course that makes it very difficult for them. Even if they manage to receive the refugee status, this is such a long process that it causes continued stress. [...] This is the situation in Chechnya: Anyone can be threatened if they don't obey the system. This totalitarian society is very difficult for those who have been living in Europe a long time already, especially for young people. For someone who went away at the age of 12, to come back to this situation is, honestly speaking, impossible. I know people who returned and simply don't come out of their houses. But again, unfortunately, I cannot tell you their names, because they don't approach us officially. They do that only when they are back in Europe and ask for support. If I would tell you these names today, they would be in danger." - from Rikard Jozwiak, ‘Prominent Russian Rights Activist Calls On EU To Change Asylum Policy,’ RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, 9 March 2011
 
Svetlana Gannushkina lives in Moscow. A member of the board of the Memorial Human Rights Centre and of the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights, she heads the Civic Assistance Committee for refugees and IDPs and Memorial's Migration Rights Network.
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