The Russian government is now rejecting the asylum applications of Syrians trying to enter the country by saying Syria isn’t “particularly dangerous” for them.
Human rights organisations are furious with the Russian government for telling Syrian asylum seekers that their home country isn’t “particularly dangerous”. The Russian civil rights group Civil Assistance published a report Tuesday that claimed the number of migrants from Syria applying for asylum from Russia has declined by close to 800, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The Russian government from the period of 2011 to 2015 have only granted one Syrian asylum despite there having been 2,011 migrants applying for permanent asylum. Those applying for temporary asylum have been much more successful with their applications with 3,306 of 4,462 total applicants being approved.
The temporary permits allow the Syrians to live in Russia for a year, which can be extended, but they do not receive any state benefits and are allowed to work. Many never find jobs, however, and end up working unofficially.
Civil Assistance claims that the government’s policy violates human rights and their report notes that in the first half of this year Russian authorities had only allowed one Syrian to extend their temporary asylum claim and just seven new applications were granted.
Since March, the Russian government has said that the situation on the ground in Syria had become more stable and recommended that not only men could return but also women and children. The government also stated that the war was coming to a conclusion. The human rights organisation disputed this saying there were still allegations of torture in the prisons of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia hasn’t been the goal for many migrants leaving Syria. Those who have travelled to Russia often do so to cross into various Western European countries. Some migrants earlier this year trekked all the way to the Arctic to cross into Norway were many were rejected at the border. The issue became so prevalent that the Norwegian government even built a barrier on the Russian border.
Russia has been at the forefront of the fighting in the Syria civil war, supporting the government of Bashar al-Assad bombing both rebel groups and Islamic State. The Syrian government, with Russian air support, has managed to liberate much of the city of Aleppo which has been the source of a vast number of migrants who leave to seek asylum in Europe.