Chechen Asylum Seeker Faces Deportation in Austria
Local sources have reported that a male Chechen asylum seeker is facing the threat of deportation from Austria to Russia.
According to the information, Danial (Salman) Mamaev, born in 1977 in Vedeno, had been forced to leave the Russian occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in 2005 after a long and active participation in his homeland’s defense against the Russian military invaders. Six of his friends were taken hostage by the Russian army and were sentenced to between 15 and 18 years in prison each. At the moment, they are serving their sentences in terrible conditions at various Russian penal colonies. Mamaev’s brother, nephew and uncle were killed by the Russian army. He has also filed a lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights, but so far there has not been a decision. Since 2005, Mamaev has lived in Austria. In 2010, he married Makka Mamaeva, a Chechen woman who has refugee status in Austria. He also has a son who is 10 months old. His wife is pregnant once again and at the hospital right now due to poor health. Despite all of this, Mamaev’s asylum requests and family re-unification claims have been rejected by Austrian authorities. He received the final rejection in August 2012. Thus, he decided to try his chances in Denmark, but his asylum application was rejected and due to the “Dublin-II Regulation”, he was arrested and handed over to Austrian authorities. On Monday October 8, he was arrested in the city of Feldkirch by the Austrian police and was taken to a police station in the town of Bludenz. On the morning of October 9, Mamaev attempted suicide to prevent his deportation, but he failed. Sometime later, the police took him to a deportation prison in Vienna. His deportation to Russia is currently scheduled for October 10. His relatives and friends believe that his extradition will be a death sentence and there is no doubt that he will face beatings and torture.
At the same time, two dozen Chechen refugees and asylum seekers gathered in front of the Caritas Centre in the city of Feldkirch to protest the deportation decision. The protesters stated that they have started a hunger strike until their fellow citizen is released and allowed to live with his family in Austria. During the evening, Austrian police broke up the crowd. The Chechen refugees said that they will gather once again on Wednesday with other protests. This time, the protest will be held at 1:00 PM in the city of Bregenz.
“We will strike until our friend is released. Our friends in Belgium and France have pledged their support and they are coming here to support our demonstration,” said Rashid Arsanukaev, spokesman of the Chechen protesters.
“The matter is fundamentally problematic. First of all, his wife Makka Mamaeva has refugee status which means she and her children may stay in Austria, but her husband cannot. Secondly, they have a child and she is pregnant with their second one. However, according to police data, the man has a criminal record, so it is impossible for him to get permission to stay on humanitarian grounds. On the other hand, the deportation decision was made legally, and there is nothing to do left,” said Martin Fellacher, head of Caritas, in a press letter.
*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco