Chechen Families in Austria at Risk for Extradition
The Austrian media has reported that several Chechen families, including 15 children, are at risk for extradition from Austria.
According to the report, the Austrian association ASPIS organized a press-conference at Alpen-Adria University in Klangenfurt to attract attention to the urgent situation. Several Chechen families, who have lived in Kärnten, Austria for between two and six years, are under the threat of extradition now. Asylum applications from the families were rejected by the court, but they refused to accept voluntary return offers. Now the organization applied for a humanitarian right to stay. The families fear an uncertain future and a return to their homeland.
“So many people in Kärnten warmly received us. I am very grateful for them. My mother and I hope that these people will help us again and we will be able to stay here. Then I and my brother can continue our education and at the end of our training, we can work. If we are forced to leave, then we have to start from scratch with everything. That’s what we had before. Please never again!” said the 14-year old Chechen girl named Hava, who speaks fluent German.
“Many are affected by mental problems. It is obvious that if they are sent back, their situation will become worse. On the other hand, a climate of fear still reigns in Chechnya. Interrogation, extortion and arrests are on the agenda,” said ASPIS’s chairman, Professor Klaus Ottomeyer. He calls the politicians to take action. “If politicians want, they can provide the humanitarian right to their stay. Then they shouldn’t use bureaucracy to hide behind it,” he said.
“These Chechen people who are here in Austria had no other choice. They couldn’t live in Chechnya. The people were threatened and faced persecution, imprisonment or murder in their homeland. There were no jobs or prospects. The single mothers are especially exposed,” said Susanne Scholl, a journalist.
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco