Demonstration in Support of Chechen Families
La Province, a daily French newspaper, has reported that an initiative group conducted a demonstration in the Digne-les-Bains district within France for three Chechen families who are under the threat of extradition to Poland.
According to the report, on the afternoon of June 15, about 100 people gathered in front of the prefecture in Digne-les-Bains. Representatives of Education without Borders (Réseau d’éducation sans frontières – RESF) and the Human Rights League (Ligue des droits de l’homme – LDH), elected people by the municipality, teachers and ordinary citizens were among the protesters. They were all gathered to support three Chechen asylum seeker families; the Chikaevas, Pataevs and Temirsultanovs, who are at risk of extradition to Poland according to the Dublin-II regulation. These families have lived in uncertain conditions in the Bourg camp in Digne since November 2010. And now, French authorities want to extradite them to Poland.
“My husband was kidnapped and tortured for days by pro-Russian forces. After this terrible threat, we ran from Chechnya and wanted to come to France, the country of human rights,” said Madina Chikaeva, a Chechen mother.
“These people ran away from serious threats against their lives and after the bombing of their houses in Chechnya,” said Christiane Bordes, a member of RESF.
“The family members are actively participating in their children’s school lives and they show a real good example of integration” said Jacques Martel, director of Paul-Martin Elementary School, where the Chechen children attend.
After the demonstration, a delegation of the protesters visited Jean-Paul Normand, general secretary of the Digne sub-prefect. They explained the situation in detail and demanded residence permits for the Chechen families. However, the deputy mayor of the prefecture, Philippe Berrod, explained to journalists that all three families are subject to the Dublin-II regulation and for this reason they have to go back to Poland, where they entered the European Union first.
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco