25 January 2012, 22:10

Polina Zherebtsova, author of the book about Chechen War asks for political asylum in Finland

Polina Zherebtsova, the author of the diary about the war in Chechnya, published in autumn 2011, asked for political asylum in Finland and intends to sue Russia.

In January, Polina and her husband left Russia. According to Ms Zherebtsova, the reason was in threats against her expressed by unknown persons, who demanded that she stopped her literary career. Besides, over the past six months, as the writer asserts, she and her husband were subjected to several attacks, the "Echo Moskvy" Radio reports.

"Threats arrived all the time during 2011 and 2010. We are very tired of them and of the fact that it gets worse and worse. And my sixth sense has prompted me that we should go abroad and beg for asylum in some free democratic country," the BBC quotes Polina Zherebtsova as saying.

According to her story, on January 17 she was attacked, and the attackers snatched a pack of documents out of her hands. "Last autumn, soon after the book 'Diary of Zherebtsova Polina' was published, my husband was attacked near his workplace; he was beaten and threatened. He had to change job. We thought it would end; however, threats continued - both by E-mail and by phone," said the writer.

She added that she was attacked near her home back on November 16, 2011. "By appearance, they looked like right-wing radicals. But I think they were special agents, just disguised in that way," she stressed.

"Addressing the Russian police is senseless, as law enforcement bodies are totally corrupted. A bright illustration is, for example, the recent case of Taisia Osipova, the mother of a baby and wife of a political activist, who was put in prison for ten years on an entirely false accusation of drug possession," Polina Zherebtsova wrote in her blog on the Livejournal.

Human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina believes that threats to Zherebtsova came from nationalists, the Reuters reports.

"She wrote about what really happened and how our soldiers behaved. It caused irritation among nationalists who wouldn't agree with any facts of human rights violations during operations in Chechnya," said Gannushkina.

"I'm going to sue Russia, and bring the case to the European Court of Human Rights. I want to claim Russia for my lost housing, for the death of my grandfather in hospital from an air attack of Russian troops in 1994, and for the wound I got at the Grozny marketplace in a missile attack of the Russian party on October 21, 1999," said the author of the book about the Chechen War.

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