Russia

Ingush migration authorities artificially reduce number of Chechen refugees in Ingushetia

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Timur Aliyev, North Caucasus -- The migration authorities of Ingushetia artificially lower the number of Chechen refugees registered in the republic, says Minkail Ezhiyev, coordinator of the Moscow Helsinki Group for Ingushetia.
According to Ezhiyev the Migration Service of Ingushetia deleted from its records nearly two thousand forced migrants who are still staying in the territory of the republic. The human rights activist presumes the migration authorities similarly strive to increase the figure of refugees who have returned to Chechnya.

"We wanted to obtain humanitarian aid from the Danish Refugee Council but we were turned down, because according to the aid workers none of us were on their lists," says Zalla Bekbulatova, who lives in the Logovaz refugee camp. "When we started to explain the issue at the migration office, we were told we were not listed in their database either."

"When a person leaves a camp and travels out of Ingushetia to Chechnya or elsewhere, it is sufficient for them to delete all his family members from their records as well," says Ezhiyev. "Even if only a single person moves out while seven others remain," he adds.

"Deletion of people from humanitarian assistance lists happened already in the past," Ezhiyev explains. "During the December visit of Pamfilova's delegation to Ingushetia we even gave her a list of similar cases. But it is only now that the practice has taken on such mass proportions," claims Ezhiyev.

According to data provided by human rights organisations, out of the 750 people registered at the MTF -- Yandar camp near Karabulak 380 have been deleted, and at the Logovaz camp in Nazran nearly 700 have been deleted.

Director of the Migration Service of Ingushetia Magomed Latyrov refused to meet a delegation of human rights activists, who had come to discuss the issue, referring to his busy schedule.

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