Support The Moscow Times!

Refugees Trapped in Russian Airport Win Compensation Payout

Daniel B Photos / Pixabay

Russia has been ordered to pay more than 80,000 euros ($86,870) to four men forced to live in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport while applying for asylum.

Three of the men, from Iraq, Palestine and Syria, were forced to wait in the airport for more than five months after being turned away at the Russian border. The fourth man, a Somalian national, lived in the transit zone for almost two years before giving up on his asylum application.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that Russia had deprived the men of their liberty and subjected them to “inhumane treatment.”

The men survived thanks to weekly deliveries of food and toiletries by Russia’s UN Refugee Committee, but were not given access to basic facilities such as showers, the ECtHR found.

The Russian government disputed the claims by arguing that as the men had not crossed the Russian border, the state was not responsible for their care, despite their ongoing asylum claims.

The court awarded the men between 15,000 ($16,285) and 26,000 euros ($28,220), as well as costs of 3,500 ($3,800) euros.

None of them men were granted asylum within Russia. The men from Iraq and Syria were later sent to Denmark and Sweden with the help of the United Nations, while the Palestinian national left for Egypt after gathering sufficient funds to buy his own ticket. 

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.