“I am Tajik — Deport Me!”
Police in Moscow have arrested five people who were part of a protest against recent deportations of Tajik migrant laborers from Russia. The five were detained at the “I am Tajik — Deport Me!” rally on November 24 outside the Federal Migration Service in Moscow.
Some of the protesters were washing windows at the migration service building and sweeping the sidewalks, work often performed by migrant laborers in Russia. Russian news agency Interfax cited an unnamed police official as saying the five people, none of whom were ethnic Tajiks, were members of an “anarchist movement.”
Russia started deporting Tajik migrant laborers earlier this month, which many have suggested was in retaliation for Tajik authorities putting a Russian pilot on trial. Safiallo Devonaev, the head of the state Migration Service, said on November 15 in Dushanbe that according to official information from the Russian government, on November 8 some 84 Tajik citizens were being held in detention centers in Russia awaiting deportation.
On November 14, that number had increased to 205 and it rose to 245 the following day. Journalists accompanied The New York Times correspondent visiting Moscow detention center say there were about 450 Tajik citizens. So far 21 of them deported fromRussia.
The pilots — Russian Vladimir Sadovnichy and Estonian citizen Aleksei Rudenko — sentenced for smuggling, illegal entry into Tajik airspace, and breaching international air flight rules were convicted but quickly received an amnesty.
Pressure on the Tajik migrants hence declined, but still continues.