Valentina Chupik, a recognized refugee and migrant rights defender, has been held in the transit lounge at Sheremetevo airport in Moscow since September 25, 2021. She has been told that she has been stripped of her refugee status, banned from Russia for 30 years, and is threatened with imminent forcible return to Uzbekistan. She must be immediately released and allowed to remain in Russia so that she can continue her work.
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Ambassador Anatoly Antonov
Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington DC 20007
Phone: 202 298 5700 I Fax: 202 298 5735
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Dear Tatyana Moskalkova,
I am writing to you concerning Valentina Chupik
, a refugee and human rights defender who is currently being detained at Sheremetevo airport. She is threatened with imminent forcible return to Uzbekistan, a country that she fled 15 years ago because of justified fears of arbitrary prosecution in connection with her human rights work, and where she would be at risk of arbitrary arrest, unfair trial, and torture and other ill-treatment.
Valentina Chupik was detained as she was returning to the Russian Federation from Armenia. Border guards informed her that she had been stripped of her refugee status and banned from entry to the Russian Federation until September 2051, because she had purportedly “presented false information and forged documents”. Valentina Chupik was granted refugee status in the Russian Federation over 10 years ago and renewed her documents in March 2021.
Valentina Chupik has been offering free legal assistance to migrants from Central Asia in the Russian Federation and is known for advocating for proper procedures and adherence to legal standards. This action by Border Guards at Sheremetevo airport would appear to be an attempt to discredit and reprimand her for her work.
We ask you to use your powers as High Commissioner for Human Rights:
- To ensure that Russia upholds its obligations under the international human rights law, including the Refugee Convention, and not forcibly return Valentina Chupik to a country where she would be at risk of human rights violations;
- To seek the immediate and unconditional release of Valentina Chupik and to ensure that she is able to remain in Russia and continue her human rights work.