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Sweden denied asylum to MAZ strike activist

In 2020, after the results of the presidential election were announced, Ala Tsvirko actively participated in the strike at Minsk Automobile Plant. After that, the woman left Belarus, first to Ukraine, and then to Sweden. However, the activist failed to get political asylum in this Scandinavian country, reports "Zerkalo".

The migration authorities believe that the trade union activity is not political, and nothing threatens Alia in her home country, although there is a criminal case against her.

Ala Tsvirko (right) at the Belarusian Embassy in Sweden.
Ala Tsvirko (right) at the Belarusian Embassy in Sweden.

In 2020, Alla was an active participant in the strike of workers at Minsk Automobile Plant and an activist of the primary organization of the Free Trade Union of Metalworkers. In the fall of 2021, they came to her with a search. The KGB opened a criminal case against the activist under part 1 of article 342 of the Criminal Code (organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order or active participation in them).

The law enforcers did not catch the activist at home. She managed to leave for Ukraine. After the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia, the woman went to Sweden, where her sister lives. There she asked for political asylum, but the Swedish authorities refused. Despite the fact that the Belarusian woman has a ruling on the initiation of criminal proceedings.

- They refused because they did not see any threat to me when I returned to Belarus, they said that trade union work is not a political activity," Ala explains. - First the migration service refused, then the migration court, and the last instance was the Supreme Court of Sweden.

According to the court decision, the Belarusian must leave not only the country, but also the Schengen zone by October 9.

- The Migration Service even offered me to buy a plane ticket to Russia, - says Ala laughs. - Of course, I refused. The funny thing is that the officials in Sweden don't even know that there has been no air service to Russia.

The thought of having to leave Sweden and the Schengen zone does not make a woman laugh. She does not know what to do next. If she does not leave on her own, she will be deported.

- I'm going to try to get a visa to one of the countries, where it's easier for Belarusians to get asylum, because I can't go to Russia, - says the interlocutor. - I contacted both trade unions and human rights organizations, which sent letters to the Migration Service in support of me, but all this had no effect on my case. It seems to me that the Swedish Migration Service doesn't quite know the issue of Belarus and doesn't know what's going on there now.

The People's Embassy of Belarus in Sweden knows about the case of Ala Tsvirko. Representative of this organization Dmitri Wasserman said in a commentary to "Zerkalo" that the woman would probably have to go to one of the countries, which is not part of the Schengen zone, to make a visa and return to the EU.

Source: "Zerkalo"

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