Crimean prosecutors office launches offensive against illegal migrants
One plan is to create a special database of illegal migrants. Human rights defenders fear that this could become a source of human rights abuses.
The prosecutors office is proposing to add to the database not only the names of illegal migrants themselves, but also those who invited the people or let them live at their place despite this infringing the law. A gathering of various competent agencies held at the beginning of May discussed the situation and possible measures. The meeting was told that there had been an increase in the flow of illegal migrants in 2006 and a subsequent rise in the number of crimes and offences. While no exact statistics were provided, the law enforcement agencies say that most illegal visitors to the Crimea are form China, Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan and some Arab countries.
The Press Secretary of the Crimean prosecutors office Natalya Boyarkin says that the local authorities need to become actively involved in this issue. “The Crimean prosecutors office has instructed the police, the Security Service and the State Border Guard Service to suggest to the Crimean parliament creating a temporary detention centre for illegal migrants on the territory of the autonomous republic”.
This is not the first call by the Crimean prosecutors office for such methods for administrative detention of illegal migrants and their forced expulsion however this is the first time that it is trying to work through the local authorities.
Human rights concerns
Local human rights groups are watching the activities of law enforcement agencies with concern and predict that the creation of such a register could lead to human rights abuses.
The head of the Grigorenko Human Rights Centre Leonid Pylunsky believes that, while if Ukraine was a truly democratic country there could be a place for such a register, at present this will be used against people. He believes it would be better if law enforcement officers concentrated on another problem – on the creation of a register of people who have unlawfully gained double citizenship. In Sevastopol, according to various estimates, between 10 and 25% of the citys population are in this position, these being primarily current or former Russian military people and their families.
Based on information from www.radiosvoboda.org