“To all interested bodies, including The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, OSCE/ODIHR, Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation”
On September 25, 2021, theFederal Security Service (FSB) banned human rights defender Valentina Chupik from entering the territory of the Russian Federation, handed her a notice of deprivation of refugee status in Russia and a ban on entry into the country until 2051. According to V. Chupik, her certificate was not only taken away from her, but also illegally deprived of her freedom and the right to appeal and defend herself.
Valentina Chupik heads the “Tong Jahoni” Public Foundation and is known for protecting the rights of migrants, in particular in matters of protection from illegal detentions and illegal actions by migration authorities and the police, as well as the protection of human rights and access to medical care. She has repeatedly filed complaints against government officials and law enforcement agencies in defense of the interests of migrants.
“I was directly told that I spoke too actively about systemic corruption in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and filed too many complaints about illegal detentions of migrants. They want to deport me within a day to Uzbekistan so that the ECHR does not have time to apply the 39th rule [of the ECHR regulations],“Chupik told reporters.
It is obvious that the detention of Valentina Chupik, the deprivation of her refugee status, the deprivation of access to legal remedies and the right to appeal against the illegal actions of law enforcement agencies is nothing but persecution for her professional human rights activities. The illegal actions against Valentina Chupik indicate that Russia has become a dangerous country for human rights defenders, who have increasingly become subjected to various forms of harassment and reprisals.
The Russian authorities should immediately stop illegal actions against V. Chupik and give her the opportunity to defend herself on the basis of the law — to provide her with access to a lawyer in order to appeal against the deprivation of refugee status and the ban on entry in accordance with the procedure established by Russian law, and to prevent her deportation to Uzbekistan.
Recognizing the increasing pressure on human rights defenders around the world, in 2019 the UN Human Rights Committee adopted a consensus resolution on strengthening the protection of human rights defenders, urging States to “conduct prompt, effective, independent and responsible investigations into complaints and allegations of threats or violations of human rights committed against human rights defenders.”
We call on the international community to speak out in support of V. Chupik, to condemn the actions of the Russian authorities and to remind them of their international obligations. Valentina Chupik for many years protected the human dignity of migrants, combating such phenomena as slave labor and discrimination. Russia must prevent Valentina’s illegal deportation to Uzbekistan, guarantee her safety and give a legal assessment of decisions and actions, taken against Valentina Chupik by law enforcement officials and FSB.
Fridtjof Nansen Foundation, Saratov, Russian Federation
“OWL” Expert Group, Mikhail Savva, Ukraine
“Freedom for Eurasia”, Leila Seiitbek, Austria
“No Borders Project”, Maksym Butkevych, Ukraine
“School of Law ”, Klara Sooronkulova, Kyrgyzstan
“Erkin Gezit”, Gulnara Jurabaeva, Kyrgyzstan
Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, Yevgeniy Zakharov, Ukraine
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Oleksandr Pavlichenko, Ukraine
Public Foundation “Civic Participation” Erkina Ubysheva, Kyrgyzstan
Open Dialogue Foundation, Luydmyla Kozlovska, Belgium
Human Rights Center ZMINA, Tetiana Pechonchyk, Ukraine
Public Foundation “Institute of Public Analysis” Rita Karasartova, Kyrgyzstan
Center for Civil Liberties, Oleksandra Matviichuk, Ukraine
Public Foundation “Civil Initiatives of Kyrgyzstan”, Dinara Oshurakhunova, Kyrgyzstan
Chemen Ore, TurkmeniaUnite Group, Turkmenistan
Nurmumammet Hanamov, Turkmenistan
Saniya Toktogazieva, Kyrgyzstan
Ali Toktakunov, Kyrgyzstan
Interbilim NGO, Gulgaky Mamasalieva, Kyrgyzstan
Human Rights Group “Elimay”, Alia Isenova, Kazakhstan