Finnish Police Arrested Gataevs
On Wednesday January 6, Finnish police arrested “Angel of Grozny” nicknamed Chechen human rights activist Khadizhat Gataeva and her husband Malik Gataev; and human rights defenders appealed to Finnish authorities.
The Gatayevs have run orphanages for Chechen children in Lithuania as well. But they became a victim of Lithuanian unlawful assaults and kept in prison for 10 months. After they released, the court sentenced another 7 months more prison for couple with the orders of Lithuanian State Security Departmant (news related with old cases may find HERE).
According to Finnish police, arrest was made on the basis of a warrant issued the by Lithuanian authorities. Janne Pitkävirta, a district prosecutor, said the Helsinki district court would decide whether the Gatayevs would be handed over to the Lithuanians.
After this shocking news, human rights defenders immediately applied to Finnish authorities on Gataevs’ case and asked refugee status for them.
The appeal of human rights defenders:
To: President of the Republic of Finland Tarja Halonen
Minister of Justice Tuija Brax
Minister of the Interior Anne Holmlund
Minister of Migration and European Affairs Astrid Thors
Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb
Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen
We appeal to the Finnish authorities so that Khadizhat and Malik Gataev would be treated justly and humanely and that they would get an asylum in Finland. They have done extremely good work rescueing small children and young adults into their home during the Chechen wars, and they wish to continue to do so. Also the Gataev children want to live with their parents. This must be possible, especially in the Europe we live in today.
The Gataev couple have experienced incomprehensible and inhuman persecution on the country they have recently lived in, Lithuania. The judicial system and the Security Service have not acted honestly. Instead, they have hampered the Gataevs’ chances of being treated openly, honestly and fairly.
Also the foster children of Gataevs have been harassed and threatened. This has continued during the time their parents have been in Finland. This kind of tormenting behaviour should not be part of the democratic state procedures. It must not happen in Finland, and deporting Khadizhat and Malik Gataev to Lithuania or to Chechnya is out of the question.
Aki Kaurismäki, Academic, Film Director
Pirjo Honkasalo, Film Director
Hannu Paloviita, CEO, Rosebud Books
Teemu Matinpuro, General Secretary, Finnish Peace Committee
Oksana Chelysheva, Journalist
Kirsti Palonen, Psychologist, PSV
Jaana Airaksinen, writer, CEO, Into Publishing
Risto Isomäki, writer
Kimmo Jylhämö, Editor-in-Chief, Voima magazine
Iida Simes, Journalist, Rosebud Books
Anu Harju, Director, Zhima Ditt – Little Tree
Moreover, the petition is open for supporting signatures. If you would like to help Khadizhat and Malik Gataev please sign the appeal via Link.