| 19 May 2024, Sunday |

Human rights activist detained in Russia may face extradition to Uzbekistan

Valentina Chupik, a human rights lawyer who runs a helpline for migrants in Russia, claimed she was arrested at a Moscow airport after her refugee status was revoked by the country’s security agency.

“I am in a special detention cell at Sheremetyevo airport, and I am worried I will be deported to Uzbekistan,” Chupik told Reuters on Saturday, adding that her deportation was anticipated within 24 hours.

According to the Novaya Gazeta daily, Russia’s FSB security service has prohibited Chupik, an Uzbekistan national who has had refugee status since 2009, from entering Russia for 30 years.

The FSB did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Tong Jahoni, Chupik’s organization, provides free legal assistance to migrants in the event of wage theft, deportation, or incarceration.

Millions of economic migrants labor in Russia’s grey economy, where they might be abused or defrauded by employers. Many are from poor Central Asian republics whose economies rely on their returning home a portion of their wages.

  • Reuters