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Ukraine Rejects Tatar Businessman's Asylum Request

Ildar Valiyev talks to the media in Odesa after a court freed him in June 2017.
Ildar Valiyev talks to the media in Odesa after a court freed him in June 2017.

A businessman from Russia's Tatarstan region says Ukraine has rejected his petition for political asylum.

Ildar Valiyev told RFE/RL on March 21 that the Lviv regional migration service concluded that he and his family did not need additional protection and therefore cannot be given asylum in Ukraine.

"We have filed a complaint to a court asking to cancel the migration service's decision," Valiyev aid.

Valiyev, 41, arrived in Ukraine with his wife and their four children in spring 2017, where he was detained at Russia's request under an international warrant.

Russian authorities have said Valiyev is wanted on suspicion of taking part in the activities of a terrorist group.

Valiyev acknowledges being a member of the Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which Russia branded a terrorist organization and banned in 2003.

He left Russia after two business partners were sentenced to 18 and 19 years in prison after being convicted of establishing a Hizb ut-Tahrir cell in Tatarstan.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is a London-based Sunni political organization that seeks to unite all Muslim countries into an Islamic caliphate. It says it is nonviolent.

The group is not banned in Ukraine.

A Ukrainian appeals court released Valiyev in June, after which he officially asked Ukraine for political asylum.