MINELRES: RF Ombudsman: Krasnodar kray authorities violate the law

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Apr 18 21:22:21 2005

Original sender: Emil Adelkhanov <emil-ade@cipdd.org>

[Translated from Russian by MINELRES]

Ombudsman of the Russian Federation says Krasnodar kray authorities
violate the law

On 31 March 2005 Rossiyskaya Gazeta has published the Report of the
Ombudsman of the Russian Federation, covering the year 2004. The
situation in Krasnodar kray is especially highlighted in the section
"The rights of foreigners and stateless persons in Russia": 

"The issue of Meskhetian Turks, in particular those living in Krasnodar
kray, has become a very peculiar problem for Russia. At the break up of
the USSR, many of these people were legal residents of the Russian
Federation, and therefore automatically became its citizens. However,
they were unable to realize their right to citizenship because the local
(Krasnodar) authorities violated the law, while the federal authorities
did not pay much attention to the problem. As a result, many of these
people have to move to the USA. Georgia, a historical homeland of
Meskhetian Turks, so far was either not capable, or not willing to
ensure their return, despite its obligations before international
community (including the Council of Europe, which made such return a
precondition for Georgia's admission to the organisation). This,
however, does not alleviate Russia's responsibility to settle the issue
of legal status for Meskhetian Turks in a just and humane way. Inability
or unwillingness to use domestic remedies in order to protect the rights
of relatively small ethnic group is damaging for Russia's international

We have to point out that this is probably the first time the problem of
Meskhetian Turks has been officially recognised by the authorities.
Before the publication of Lukin's report all the blame was usually put
on Meskhetian Turks, human rights activists, the UN, OSCE, CoE, Turkey,
but never the federal or local (kray) authorities. 
Tamara Karasteleva, Executive director of Novorossiysk Committee for
Human Rights
31 March 2005