Syrian refugees. Photo: EUROPE-ISLAMICSTATE/SYRIA REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

28 December 2018, 01:14

Circassian activists ask President Putin to expand rights of immigrants from Syria

On December 25, the "International Circassian Organization" sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a request to include compatriots from Syria living in Russia in the category of people eligible for simplified obtaining of citizenship.

The Union of Public Associations "International Circassian Organization" (ICO), which includes 16 Circassian organizations in Russia and abroad, appealed to the Russian President on December 25. Activists asked Vladimir Putin to include compatriots from Syria living in Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria, and Karachay-Cherkessia in the category of persons entitled to get Russian citizenship through a simplified procedure.

Circassian repatriates from Syria and Turkey do not have the opportunity to obtain Russian citizenship through a simplified procedure, the "Caucasian Knot" has been informed by Valery Khatazhukov, the head of the Kabardino-Balkarian Human Rights Centre. He associates the above with the fact that in his address to the parliament, President Putin has described Russian compatriots as those who speak Russian and are carriers of Russian culture.

On December 25 and 26, similar appeals to President Putin were sent by at least other eight Circassian organizations from Adygea, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, Krasnodar Territory, Turkey, Israel, Europe, and the USA.

Asker Sokht, the chair of the public organization "Adyge Khase" in the Krasnodar Territory, noted that since 2012, about 6000 Circassians had moved to Russia from Syria. Of them, about 3000 repatriates stayed in Russia for permanent residence.

Shamsutdin Neguch, the spokesman for the public organization "Adyge Khase" in Adygea, has stated that he does not support the initiative to appeal to President Putin. Shamsutdin Neguch believes the right of ethnic Circassians to get Russian citizenship through a simplified procedure should be consolidated at the legislative level and to achieve that, the activists should appeal to the State Duma.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 27, 2018 at 12:55 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Anna Gritsevich; Source: CK correspondent

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