9 May 2014

The Foreign Policy Centre has launched in the UK’s Houses of Parliament an online publication entitled “Shelter from the Storm”, which examines the asylum, refuge and extradition situation facing activists from the former Soviet Union in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Europe. ECRE has contributed to the publication by providing a case study on the situation of Russian asylum seekers in Europe, which were the second largest group in the EU in 2013.

The article concludes that the Dublin Regulation continued to have an impact on asylum seekers from Russia in 2013, particularly for those who sought protection in Germany, as many had previously entered Poland and feared being returned there.

The article also shows that recognition rates, even for the relatively homogenous group of Chechen families differ significantly, as do types of protection granted. Furthermore, the article looks at access to the EU and returns of asylum seekers from Russia and it notes that Russian human rights defenders have cautioned that the EU should take more care when examining the cases of any activists fleeing the ‘Bolotnoe case’. 

The publication also includes contributions from Dr David Lewis from the University of Exeter, Daria Trenin from MGIMO-University, Julia Hall and Maisy Weicherding from Amnesty International and Felix Corley from Forum 18 News Service, who look at different aspects of the situation facing those fleeing Central Asia. Alex Tinsley from Fair Trials International discusses the political abuse of INTERPOL and Elisabeth Dyvik from ICORN examines access to Europe for persecuted writers invited to ICORN cities of refuge. 

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 9 May 2014.
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