MIA has no plans to hand Gangan over to Russia


Kateryna Levchenko, Adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs, has informed journalists that there can be no question of Mikhail Gangan’s extradition to Russia while his application for asylum is being processed.

Ms Levchenko mentioned that Ukraine has agreements with the Russian Federation in accordance with which Ukraine must accede to requests to detain people on the international wanted list.

“However, in this situation there is a legal and political clash. Mikhail Gangan applied to the Ukrainian authorities for refugee status alleging political persecution in the Russian Federation due to his role as one of the activists and organizers of the March of those in dissent [Marsh niesoglashnykh].  His status as an asylum seeker is confirmed by documents from the Regional Office of the UN High Commission for Refugees. According to international documents, a person applying for refugee status may not be handed over to the country of their origin.”

Ms Levchenko explained that the MIA is presently awaiting the ruling of the appellate court over the appeal lodged by Gangan’s lawyer against the first instance court’s decision to hold Mikhail Gangan in custody.

As reported here already, on 31 December Gangan was detained at the Vinnytsa Railway Station by officers of a Ministry of Internal Affairs Department for Fighting Organized Crime in cooperation with the Russian security service.  The 21-year-old  is a member of the National Bolshevik Party (led by Edward Limonov) which is banned in Russia.  He has faced a number of trumped up charges under the Administrative Offences Code for organizing and taking part in non-violence acts of protest.  In 2004 he was one of those arrested and given a three year suspended sentence for seizing a presidential administration reception office. 

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