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Navalny Supporter From Sochi Seeks Political Asylum In Sweden

Russian opposition activist Dmitry Titkov
Russian opposition activist Dmitry Titkov

Sochi opposition activist Dmitry Titkov, who is allied with Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, says he has asked for political asylum in Sweden.

In a post on Facebook on June 25, Titkov confirmed a Caucasian Knot story about his request for asylum, which said he is living there and has already received a work permit.

Titkov told the Caucasian Knot news agency that he was repeatedly persecuted in Sochi, including being repeatedly detained by the authorities for participating in demonstrations and other opposition activities.

In April, he was found guilty of illegal picketing and sentenced to nine days in jail.

He said that six people threatened him with reprisals, demanding that he and other activists stop picketing in support of Navalny.

Navalny's headquarters in Sochi was opened in July 2017, but was closed due to financial difficulties in April, activists said.

Titkov told Caucasian Knot that he traveled to Sweden and asked for political asylum after spending a stressful nine days in a jail cell with a drug addict, which he called "the last straw."

He said he had been well-treated in Sweden and was immediately given a room in a house for seven people with everything necessary to live comfortably.

The Swedish authorities allocate for each refugee an average of 200 euros ($230), enough money to purchase food, Titkov said.

"I've already been given a work permit," he said, and he is attending school to learn the Swedish language.

Titkov said he'd met many migrants from Russia in Sweden, but his housemates are refugees from Syria and Iraq.

"I am the only Russian speaker, but this does not prevent us from living in harmony," he said. "I have been here for about a month and I feel completely safe."

Based on reporting by Caucasian Knot

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