Human rights activist Valentina Chupik, deported from Russia, asked the Ukrainian authorities for asylum. She told reporters.
After an eight-day stay in the special detention center at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, Valentina Chupik was released and is now in Yerevan (Armenia).
Earlier, the Committee against Torture applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) with a petition to suspend the expulsion of the well-known defender of labor migrants from Russia. On the same day, the ECHR banned deportation of the human rights defender to Uzbekistan, applying Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. It is used in cases where there is an imminent risk of causing irreparable harm.
Valentina Chupik told that she was locked in one of the premises in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo airport and was announced an intention to deport her from the country. At the same time, a lawyer was not allowed. She didn’t even have the opportunity to charge her phone in order to contact her family members. A bright light was on in the room all day and night. During these eight days, she was also not provided with an opportunity to change her clothes.
«I was told that I was detained for giving deliberately false information and because of forged documents, although I had them in order. But during oral communication they said that my speeches about systemic corruption in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and regular complaints against the police were behind the decision on my deportation. Anyway, I am glad that I was allowed to fly to Yerevan. Now I am free, but, to be honest, it is not yet clear what lies ahead of me,» she said.
Valentina Chupik admitted that she would like to get to Uzbekistan.
«I would very much like to get home, to Tashkent. I have not been home since 2006, when the Uzbek authorities tried to close down our human rights organization (Tong Jahoni), which dealt with the problems of migrants. Then my colleagues and I managed to defend the organization in court, but had to hastily leave for Russia. I received a refugee status there. Thus, I could travel to other countries for a while,» she said.
According to Valentina Chupik, her representatives have applied to the Ukrainian authorities with a request for asylum for her and her mother Lyubov Kodentsova, but have not yet received a response.
«Our representatives have also applied for granting a refugee status to me and my mother in a number of European countries. I will not name them now,» the human rights activist added.
Valentina Chupik also noted that wherever she is, she will continue to engage in human rights activities. According to her, it is the rights of migrants and refugees that are most violated.
On September 25, FSB officers detained Valentina Chupik at Sheremetyevo airport. The Ministry of Internal Affairs deprived the human rights defender of her refugee status and banned her from entering Russia until September 2051.
Valentina Chupik is a native of Uzbekistan. At home, she was also actively involved in human rights activities. Several years ago, she left the country after she began to receive threats from intelligence officers. Valentina Chupik wrote a statement against them. Tens of thousands of migrants know her. She, together with lawyers, provides them with legal assistance, constantly visited police stations when immigrants from the Central Asian states were detained without reason.