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Russia Deports Migrant Advocate Sharipov To Tajikistan


Karomat Sharipov (left) meets with three Tajiks released from slavery in 2014. (Photo: Tajmigrant.com)

A prominent advocate for Tajik migrants who says he has never been a Tajik citizen has been deported from Russia to Tajikistan.

A lawyer for Karomat Sharipov, Aleksandra Medvedeva, told RFE/RL on December 13 that her client had been deported from Moscow to the southern Tajik city of Kulob overnight, hours after an appeals court upheld a lower court's decision to deport him.

Sources at the Kulob airport, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the issue, told RFE/RL that Sharipov was among the passengers registered on a flight from Moscow that arrived at 3 a.m. on December 13.

Attempts to reach Sharipov were unsuccessful.

On November 30, the Lyubertsy city court outside Moscow ruled that the Federal Security Service (FSB) was right to confiscate Sharipov's Russian passport in October, clearing the way for his deportation to Tajikistan.

Sharipov, who heads the Migrants Federation, says he obtained Russian citizenship legally in 1993 after serving in the Soviet and later the Russian Army. He says he never had Tajik citizenship after the Soviet Union broke apart in 1991.

According to Sharipov, the FSB confiscated his passport after a brawl between Tajik migrant workers and security personnel at a Moscow mall in late September.

Some 250 people, mainly Tajik migrant workers, were detained. Sharipov voiced concerns over the legality of such detentions.

There are hundreds of thousands of labor migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus living and working in Russia.

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