Chechen Family Faces Deportation From Poland
Local sources have reported that a family of Chechen asylum seekers is facing deportation from Poland to Russia but an initiative group has begun a campaign in support of the family.
According to the information, 36-year old Chechen mother Zalpa Nurgaliyeva and her children; 11-year old Islam Bersanukayev and 9-year old Rayana Bersanukayeva were forced to leave the Russian occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in 2010 due to the ongoing military occupation and the brutal regime governing their homeland. When they arrived, Zalpa’s smallest son, Imam Bersanukayev, who is 2-years old now, was born in Poland. The family asked for asylum in Poland, but their application was rejected by the Polish authorities. In the beginning of September 2012, the whole family was picked up by Polish Border Guards and placed in a closed detention center in the city of Kętrzyn, which is 300km from the Grupa Refugee Center near the town of Grudziądz, where the family resides. While they were in the closed detention center, Islam wrote a letter to Polish authorities pleading: “Please release us from this closed center. I want to go back to my school and friends. I want to return to my football team and dance group. This place is very sad, I feel lonely and it is like a prison. Even though we didn’t do anything wrong, they have locked us in here. I fell in love with Poland and I don’t want to leave”. At the same time, Zalpa appealed to a district court in the city of Bydgoszcz and on September 18, the court decided to release the family. Since then the family has lived in the same refugee center in Grudziądz, but a big question mark looms in their lives as they await deportation.
Importantly, the family is well integrated into Polish society. Islam and Rayana are receiving their education in Polish schools with good grades and their teachers are happy with their performances. Islam plays football for the school team and participates in a local integration project as a member of a Chechen children’s dance group.
Now a Polish initiative group is encouraging everyone to participate in their protest to save the Chechen family. They do not want to see these children deported to a life in hell with undignified conditions in the Russian occupied Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.
The group wrote a letter addressed to the Head of the Polish Foreign Office requesting refugee status for the family. They have also created a Facebook contact page. The initiative group believes that allowing this Chechen family to stay in Poland is not just for their well-being, but at the same time it benefits Polish society because it will allow the use of the potential, talent and effort of foreigners working in the both social and economic arenas of Poland. The letter is open to signatures and if you would like to sign, you must follow this LINK and click “Popieram petycje – jetsem ZA” (I support the petition), then fill the form out.
*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco