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Moscow 2006. Ghetto

04.12.2006    source:
A 50-year-old Georgian national Manana Djabeliya died on 2 December in a Russian holding centre, two months after being detained as Georgian, despite being registered in Moscow, and two days after her appeal against deportation was upheld.

A 50-year-old Georgian national Manana Djabeliya died on Saturday, 2 December 2006 in a Russian Federal Migration Service holding centre.

Two days before her death the Moscow City Court revoked the decision to deport her, having confirmed that the woman was in Moscow legally. Yet she continued to be held behind bars in a remand centre!

And all this took place not in the back of beyond, but in Moscow, the capital of the Russian Federation. What can you call those people who set in motion persecution on grounds of nationality?!  Who issued orders to hunt out and grab Georgians all over the Russian Federation?  People at the helm of the state.

Manana Djabeliya was detained on 4 October while her passport was being renewed at the Georgian Consulate. On 5 October the Natatisnky Court ordered that she be deported to Georgia however this ruling was appealed which stopped her being forcibly removed from the country. She spent almost two months in a holding centre awaiting consideration of the appeal. According to “Radio Svoboda” [“Radio Liberty”] it was because of the appeal lodged that Manana Djabeliya’s problems began. The inspectors of the centre pushed her to withdraw her appeal to the court.

Over the two months she was kept in the holding centre, Manana Djabeliya had several hypertonic attacks and she also went on hunger strike.

From “Novaya Gazeta”

On 16 October “Novaya gazeta” wrote that they were following the fate of the 50-year-old refugee from Abkhazia Manana Djabeliya.  She Georgian and her husband Abkhazian, the family had found no place either in Georgia or in Abkhazia. In January 1994 the family left for Moscow as refugees. Manana worked at the market, renewing her visa every year.

On 4 October at the Domodedovo Market there was a blanket check for infringements of migration rules. Over 2 days they detained more than 20 people with Georgian surnames, among them Manana. Her passport was being renewed in the consulate, and the police did not even look at her document confirming that she was a refugee.

Manana was first taken to a police unit where she was held overnight.  Her son was not allowed to see her, nor to pass on any food. At a hearing behind closed doors on 5 October the Nagatinsky Court ruled to deport Manana Djabeliya to Georgia, a country where she has neither home nor relatives. The court ruling stated: the accused admits that she entered the country illegally, has been living without registration, and has refused the services of a lawyer and interpreter. Manana refused to sign this ruling, so they “signed for her”.

She was taken to a holding centre for foreign nationals on Novoslobodskaya St.  She was scheduled to be deported on 14 October, in violation of the period allowed for appeals (10 days after the sentence). The others detained were deported, however Manana’s case became known to Ludmila Alexeeva, Head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, who managed to make sure that Manana’s relatives received a copy of the court ruling, and an appeal was lodged with the court, this meaning that her deportation was halted until after the appeal.

The newspaper’s article ends: “We hope that justice and the laws of the Russian Federation will be observed”.

Yelena Kostychenko, 16.10.2006


“Radio Svoboda” reports that the Tverskoy prosecutor’s office in Moscow is carrying out a check into the death in a holding centre of Manana Djabeliya.  The woman who suffered from asthma is believed to have died of a heart attack.

This follows the death In October at Domodedovo Airport of Tengis Togonidze, who was awaiting deportation “for an infringement of migration legislation”.

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