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Chechen Singer Seeks Asylum in Finland

Video: Pertti Nykänen.

The famous Chechen singer and song-maker, Liza Umarova, has applied for asylum in Finland. Recently, she appeared at a concert organised by the Finnish Peace Committee, where she sang anti-war songs. “Three days ago, when I arrived in Finland, for the first time in a long time, I felt free in my heart. I was happy. I never had such a feeling in my life,” Ms Umarova told her audience. “My songs are dedicated to freedom and to the pain that my people is suffering.”

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Tribunal 12 Helsinki

Syytämme Eurooppaa pakolaisiin, siirtolaisiin ja turvapaikanhakijoihin kohdistuvista jatkuvista ihmisoikeusloukkauksista ja järjestelmällisestä kaltoinkohtelusta!

Tribunal 12 Helsinki on tapahtuma, jossa vaaditaan EU:ta ottamaan moraalinen, laillinen ja polittiinen vastuu alueelleen paenneista ihmisistä. Tapahtumaa tukee laaja joukko ihmisoikeuksia ja sananvapautta puolustavia järjestöjä ja eri alojen taiteilijoita. Sen taustalla on Tukholmassa lauantaina 12.5.2012 järjestettävä näytösluontoinen oikeusistunto Tribunal 12, joka ottaa kantaa Euroopan ihmisoikeusrikkomuksiin pakolaisia, turvapaikanhakijoita ja siirtolaisia kohtaan.

Tribunal 12 Helsinki järjestetään Iso Roobertinkatu 4:ssä sijaitsevassa katutason liiketilassa lauantaina 12.5.2012 kello 10:30-24:00. Yleisöllä on mahdollisuus seurata Tukholman tapahtumia suorana lähetyksenä. Lähetysten välille on rakennettu runsas ohjelma, joka koostuu kansalaisjärjestöjen ja puheenvuoroista ja taiteilijoiden esityksistä. Päivän aikana käsitelllään muun muassa rajakontrollia, turvapaikkaprosessia, paperittomuutta, sekä säilöönottoa ja käännytyksiä.

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Angels of Grozny Can Stay

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The Gatayevs in Helsinki. (Photo: Vladimir Telegin.)

The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) has granted asylum to the Chechen couple, Malik Gatayev and Khadizhat Gatayeva, and three of their children. The couple fled from persecution in Chechnya and Lithuania, and applied for asylum in Finland in September 2009. The Gatayevs ran orphanages for Chechen children in the Chechen capital, Grozny, and in Lithuania’s second-largest city, Kaunas.

Migri initially rejected the Gatayevs’ asylum application in March 2010, and the couple was detained pending deportation. However, the Helsinki Administrative Court ruled in May 2010 that Lithuania was not a safe country of return. In March 2012, Finland’s Supreme Administrative Court upheld the lower court ruling, obliging Migri to reconsider the case. Finally, on 19 April 2012, Migri granted the family asylum.

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Criminalise Refugee Espionage

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Appeal of civil society organisations to Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen for preventing refugee espionage and guaranteeing the safety of its targets

In 2011, there were more cases in which foreign intelligence services tried to monitor their own citizens living permanently or residing temporarily in Finland. So-called refugee espionage involves gathering information that is useful to a foreign power about people residing in Finland, their personal circumstances and their political views. Refugee espionage creates a danger that the persons that are being targeted or people close to them will then be subjected to repression or pressure.

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Musa: Survivor of Chechen Meat Grinder

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The Finnish webzine, Fifi, ran an interview with Musa, a Chechen refugee living in Finland. Below, an abridged translation of Jussi Förbom’s original article:

Finnish director Mervi Junkkonen’s documentary film, After Life – Four Stories of Torture, is an excruciating, maddening, and beautiful plea in defence of torture victims. One of the film’s main characters is Musa, who escaped the Chechen meat grinder. He wishes that the viewers of the film appreciate the importance of freedom and understand that the conflict in Chechnya is not over. One day, he hopes to be able to tell his son about his experiences under torture.

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День Победы

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В понедельник 9 мая городской суд в финском городе Вантаа полностью оправдал финского предпринимателя и правозащитника, члена правления Финско-Российского Гражданского Форума Микаэля Стуршё и чеченского беженца Дени Берката, против которых было выдвинуто обвинение в организации нелегальной иммиграции. Судили их за то, что они спасали чеченских беженцев. Они помогли нескольким семьям перебраться в Финляндию.

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Путинский пастор разжигает межнациональную рознь

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Финский уполномоченный по делам меньшинств Эва Биоде (Eva Biaudet) обратилась к полиции с просьбой инициировать следствие по поводу высказываний финского лютеранского пастора Юхи Молари (Juha Molari). Уполномоченный попросила полицию выяснить, содержатся ли в статьях, опубликованных Молари в своем блоге, признаки разжигания межнациональной розни.

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