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Statement of Civil Society organizations on the situation of Human Rights Defender Valentina Chupik

“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