Russian Blogger Stuck at Georgian Border After Fleeing ‘Political’ Terrorism Charges

Russian Blogger Stuck at Georgian Border After Fleeing ‘Political’ Terrorism Charges
Russian Blogger Stuck at Georgian Border After Fleeing ‘Political’ Terrorism Charges

A Russian blogger and activist has been trapped within the border zone between Russia and Georgia for practically every week after Tbilisi authorities denied her entry to the nation.

Russian authorities accuse Insa Lander of recruiting others to a terrorist group, a declare she rejects as politically motivated. She fled home arrest and tried to cross into Georgia and search political asylum on June 12 and once more on June 13, however was turned away at the Georgian border each instances. 

Lander, who’s now staying in a duty-free store between the 2 nations’ border checkpoints, instructed The Moscow Times that she doesn’t have common entry to meals and water and that human rights defenders will not be allowed to go to her. 

“One day [Georgian border guards] assure me they really want to help, but the very next day they say I am a ‘problem’ and I have to go back to Russia as nothing threatens me there,” Lander stated in an interview. 

“Some border guards brought me coffee or tea, others kicked me out of the duty-free shop while it was raining. Duty-free employees are forbidden from helping me — they cannot give me water or provide Wi-Fi,” she added. 

“In any case, I am not afraid of local border guards and I do not expect anything bad from them; all the danger comes from the Russian border.” 

Georgia’s Interior Ministry stated Lander was denied entry as a result of she allegedly gave “clearly false and contradictory information” in regards to the goal of her go to.

Georgian legislation additionally states that people prosecuted for terrorism in different nations could also be denied entry. 

“There are more than 1,000 Russian activists and journalists in Georgia. In this case, Georgia is probably afraid of the fabricated terrorism charges brought against Insa. We applied to the Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry and Georgian humanitarian organizations, but so far we have no results,” Yegor Kuroptev, director of the Free Russia Foundation within the South Caucasus, instructed The Moscow Times. 

Kuroptev stated he was unable to go to Lander within the impartial zone, however managed to move some meals alongside to her. 

He additionally stated the Free Russia Foundation — which helps the Russian diaspora in Georgia — is presently in talks with quite a lot of European nations to supply Lander with political asylum.

Lithuania’s Ambassador to Georgia, Andrius Kalindra, stated Thursday that Vilnius was prepared to supply Lander with a visa if she is allowed to enter Georgia.

Lander, a longtime Moscow resident, was arrested on terrorism costs within the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria in December 2021 and positioned below home arrest.

She says the case is an try to cease her from investigating alleged corruption at a charity led by a prime official in Kabardino-Balkaria. 

Her lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov stated the case was primarily based on her correspondence on the VKontakte social community courting from 2014. 

Russia’s oldest human rights watchdog Memorial has known as Lander’s prosecution unlawful and politically motivated.

Plenty of Russian opposition figures have beforehand been denied entry to Georgia, together with journalists Mikhail Fishman and Ilya Azar and politicians Lyubov Sobol and Dmitry Gudkov.

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