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Demonstration in Strasbourg to Support Chechen Asylum Seekers

Submitted by on Saturday, 2 October 2010.    1,372 views No Comment
Demonstration in Strasbourg to Support Chechen Asylum Seekers

The website has stated that on October 5, in the city of Strasbourg, France, there will be a demonstration to support Chechen asylum seekers.

According to the statement, the local branch of Amnesty International and the representatives of the Chechen Diaspora in Strasbourg call all Chechen patriots as well as real friends of the Chechen people to gather in front of the Council of Europe building to protest the inhumane situation of Chechen asylum seekers at 12 am on October 5th.

It was explained that twenty-eight Chechen asylum seeking families, together with their children are to remain on the streets of Strasbourg. The reasons of hotel management are clear. These people are subject to the Dublin agreement and the French government will not pay their for their accommodations.

According to the representatives of the Chechen Diaspora in Strasbourg, many of the Chechen asylum seekers are coming from Poland and thus, they will be sent back to Poland.

Our lawyer explained to us what the “Dublin II Regulation” really is. He said, “This inhumane agreement is a European Union law that determines the EU Member State responsible for examining applications for asylum seekers seeking international protection under the Geneva Convention and the EU Qualification Directive, within the European Union”. This means that the country that a person first arrived in is responsible for dealing with the application, thus if the asylum seeker goes to another EU country, the asylum seeker will be sent back to their original point of entry.

Our lawyer gave some practical information to Chechen asylum seekers.

He said that when an asylum seeker arrives to the European Union, their fingerprints are taken, either digitally or on paper. The images are usually stored in the Europe-wide “EURODAC” database. If the person claims asylum in any other country within the European Union, the authorities will find out quickly that they have been registered in another country already. At this point, they are able to send the asylum seeker back them to the first point of entry. Thus, the asylum seekers must know this and carefully decide where they will enter the EU. However, if they stay in a non-EU country like Turkey or the Ukraine, and can prove that they have been in that non-EU-country for “at least three months” after their last registration in the first entered country, they may be able to avoid deportation from other EU-countries. This may happen because in that case the timeframe for the validity of Dublin II expired.

On the other hand, any information you give to the authorities, especially about your escape route, may be used against you in further asylum proceedings. Therefore, you must think carefully about how you describe your journey before you go on the first interview. Fingerprints are not the only way to prove your presence in other countries and justify your deportation! If, for instance, you say that you came via Poland or any other European country, the authorities might try to deport you back there. If you have been stopped by the border patrol when you have left the airplane coming from Poland, this may also be considered proof that you have been there.

Sometimes, the asylum seeker families find themselves in a situation where one person went first to a specific country, and other family-members were stranded in France or elsewhere. In this case, they have the chance to ask for “reunion of the family”. If a country accepted their application for asylum and is reviewing their case, they may try to get close family members to join them.

Also, it is important to keep any evidence about difficulties and problems faced while in Poland or other EU member states. For instance, getting access to the asylum-procedure, homelessness and incidents of police brutality. This information may help to stop a deportation to the original country of entry. Asylum seekers must try to keep photographs, videos and any other documents that they may have.

*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco

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