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Chechens Demand Residency Rights In Azerbaijan

Ramzan Mollayev
Ramzan Mollayev
BAKU -- Azerbaijan's Chechen community wants residency rights so that they can work legally, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Ramzan Mollayev, the head of the Chechen community in Azerbaijan, told RFE/RL that Chechen refugees have problems in Azerbaijan "because they don't have a legal status" in the country and thus cannot obtain work permits.

Mollayev said that his children and grandchildren were born in Baku and that he wants to work, instead of depending on international groups and Azerbaijanis to survive.

Also, Mollayev said the Azerbaijani government is extraditing Chechen refugees who are "wanted" in Russia without the appropriate procedural steps.

He said that Chechens still don't have any information about Yusup Nagayev, who was turned over to Russia in May 2008. Nagayev, a former driver for a Chechen rebel vice president, was given refugee status in 2002 but was extradited in May 2008.