14:37 19.07.2021

Ukraine's Migration Service unlawfully refuses asylum seekers, Hizb ut-Tahrir reps - human rights activists

3 min read

KYIV. July 19 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Lawyer at the Crimean Human Rights Movement Damir Minadirov claims that the Ukrainian Migration Service groundlessly refuses to grant political asylum to supporters of the Islamic political party Hizb ut-Tahrir persecuted in Central Asia.

"The loyalty of the migration legislation of Ukraine remains only on paper ... The Migration Service, by the hands of officials, spoils the image of Ukraine and violates the law ... There is a separate category among asylum seekers - members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir party ... People, who are obviously being persecuted illegally, require protection, however, the migration service denies them refugee status ... contrary to Ukrainian law," he said at a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Monday.

He recalled that Hizb ut-Tahrir is not included in the sanctions lists of the U.S. Department of State, is not a terrorist organization, but the party's activities are prosecuted in Central Asia and the Russian Federation.

"The Ukrainian state fully supports these people, and on the other hand, the migration service ... without studying the case in detail, refuses to grant refugee status. The Migration Service formalizes its work, the consideration of these cases. In fact, the service has turned into a refusal service ... duties of the migration service transferred to the courts ... In the end, the court ... renders a decision that obliges either to reconsider the case, or to grant refugee status," the human rights activist explained.

He drew attention to the fact that, despite the won court disputes, the migration service does not comply with the decisions of the courts. According to Minadirov, there are cases on which court decisions have not been implemented for a year and a half. "The Migration Service questions the decisions of the courts and tries to act independently," he summed up.

Lawyer, managing partner of the Prime Yuris law firm, Andriy Leshchenko, in his video message made public at a press conference, noted that the law on refugees provides a clear list of grounds for refusing to consider applications for granting refugee status, but the approach of the migration service in refusal is of formal character. The lawyer recalled that in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, as well as in the Russian Federation, representatives of Hizb ut-Tahrir are persecuted for their religious beliefs, illegally accused of involvement in terrorist activities.

Blogger Makhmudjon Kholdarov, present at the press conference, an applicant for international protection in Ukraine, said that the Kyrgyz authorities accused him of inciting religious hatred and tried him. "The activities of the party are not related to terrorism, I am persecuted for my religion, for my civic position. Therefore, I want to draw the attention of state bodies to this," he said.

According to Kholdarov, he applied for refugee status in Ukraine, which he was denied, the decision of the migration service to refuse is appealed with Odesa court.

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