Russian activist Mikhail Gangan granted asylum in Ukraine
The State Committee for Nationalities and Religion has granted refugee status to Mikhail Gangan.
22-year-old Mikhail Gangan is a member of the National Bolshevik Party (led by Edward Limonov) which is banned in Russia. In Russia he had faced a number of trumped up charges under the Administrative Offences Code for organizing and taking part in non-violent 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. One of the other 38 activists involved, Vladimir Lind., was recently awarded 15,000 Euro by the European Court of Human Rights who found that Russia had violated three articles of the European Convention on Human Rights: prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment, the right to liberty and security and the right to respect for private life.
Gangan was detained in Vinnytsa on 31 December following a request for his extradition from the Russian authorities. There was considerable protest from human rights organizations which may have contributed to the ruling by the Vinnyrsa Regional Court of Appeal on 11 January which overturned the first courts decision to remand him in custody.
Gangan maintained that he would face not only three years imprisonment if extradited to Russia, but also physical violence.