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Russian Anti-Fascist Detained in Spain

The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) promotes cooperation between the peoples of Finland and Russia by supporting civic initiatives for democracy, human rights, and free speech.




On 21 August 2012, police in the southern Spanish city of Granada detained Pyotr Silayev, an activist of Russia’s anti-fascist movement, who has received asylum in Finland. The police refused to accept Mr Silayev’s assertion that Finland had granted him international protection and permanent residence.

Mr Silayev was detained based on an Interpol arrest warrant issued by Russia, which accuses him of “attacking the town hall in Khimki together with 150 accomplices, using firearms and smashing windows.” Mr Silayev fled Russia in August 2010 and was granted asylum in Finland in April 2012.

The other two people mentioned in the arrest warrant are Denis and Maxim Solopov and Alexey Gaskarov. Earlier, Maxim Solopov fled Russia via Ukraine to the Netherlands, where he obtained political asylum. Denis Solopov and Alexey Gaskarov were tried in connection with the incident in Khimki.

Mr Silayev entered Spain three days ago using his new Finnish identity. At present, he is in police custody in Granada. On 22 August 2012, he will be taken to Madrid where his extradition case will be heard at the Audiencia Nacional. Mr Silayev is hoping for assistance from the Finnish Embassy in Madrid.



  1. FINROSFORUM says:

    Spanish police spokesperson told Radio Svoboda that Pyotr Silayev was detained in the evening of 21 August 2012 in a hotel in Granada. The spokesperson said Mr Silayev did not have any other documents on him apart from his Russian passport. Finland’s Embassy in Madrid is assisting Mr Silayev. Spanish lawyer José Sánchez Alarcos noted that an extradition process could take up to one and a half years. The final decision on extradition cases rested on the Spanish government.


  2. FINROSFORUM says:

    Pyotr Silayev has been ordered to be held for 40 days. The Finnish Embassy in Madrid continues to assist Mr Silayev and has assured that he will be released. Embassy officials say that the delay is related to necessary paperwork. Mr Silayev’s lawyer needs to obtain his client’s documents from the Finnish Immigration Service and have them accepted by the Audiencia Nacional. Finnish Embassy officials have assured Mr Silayev that an extradition to Russia is out of the question.

    Esko Repo, head of the asylum department at the Finnish Immigration Service, noted that deporting a person who had received asylum in an EU country to a third country where he/she risked being tortured or subjected to inhumane treatment was prohibited. He stressed that all EU countries had committed themselves to upholding the extradition ban in such cases and to certain legally-binding human rights norms. Recently, Finland deported a Chechen torture victim to Russia.


  3. FINROSFORUM says:

    Spain’s high court, the Audiencia Nacional, decided to arrest Pyotr Silayev for 40 days. Spanish authorities have asked the Russian prosecutor’s office to confirm that the Interpol notice issued on Mr Silayev was still in force. The Finnish Immigration Service stressed that extraditing a person in a similar situation as Mr Silayev was prohibited under EU rules.

    Oksana Chelysheva, board member of the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum, told Kanal PIK that the Finnish Embassy in Madrid assured that Mr Silayev would be released shortly and that an extradition to Russia was out of the question. The Embassy had received Mr Silayev’s documents from Finland, and the documents were now being translated into Spanish.



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