Another human rights defender who protected the rights of indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation Johannes Rohr received recently the decision of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) to ban entry to the Russian Federation until 2069.
Johannes Rohr, a German by nationality, worked for a long time as a coordinator of human rights programs of the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA – Denmark) and Institute of Ecology and Active Anthropology (INFOE – Germany). He was an author of the numerous articles on indigenous peoples’ rights of the Russian Federation as well as reports to UN and other international bodies.
According to him, he flew to Moscow December 19 as a part of the human rights project to meet with representatives of indigenous peoples’ organizations. However, upon arrival he was detained during a border control and was not released out of the airport building. He spent the night at a temporary detention center for deportees at Sheremetyevo Airport and next day was accompanied by FSB officers to the flight to Berlin.
According Johannes, he spent the night “in a closed room with bars on windows, with guys from Asia, India, Egypt, who were also deported from Russia. Some have been there for two days already. There was no bed, no food either. Electricity was turned off. I had to sleep on the floor and on the metal seats”.
The official reason specified in the decision to the ban entry was the paragraph 1 of Art. 27 of the Russian Federal Law “The procedure for leaving and entering the Russian Federation” which declares that “this is a necessity in order to ensure the defense capability or security of the state”.
Johannes Rohr says he does not understand the real reasons for the ban: “I suspect this is due to my recent presentation at the session of the 7th United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights on the situation in Eastern Europe. I made a number of comments on the situation with the rights of indigenous peoples in the areas of extractive industry in Russia. I did not say anything new: the lack of free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples, the complexity of the public control in closed regions of Russia (such regions are closed for free visiting of outsiders), the difficulty of defending of the rights of indigenous peoples whose activists are accused of separatism by authorities, the ineffectiveness of the international human rights mechanisms etc. Actually, I did what I was supposed to do in this Forum.”
Let us recall that quite recently another well-known human rights activist who defends the rights of indigenous people in Russia and other countries – Oliver Loode from Estonia also received a ban on entry into the Russian Federation for 55 years: “2018.12 I will celebrate my 100 years anniversary in Russia. FSB against the Estonian human rights activist”. Oliver also believes that possible reason for the ban on entry into the Russian Federation was his work to protect the rights of indigenous peoples, including the Crimean Tatars.
Johannes Rohr, FSB, human rights defenders, ban, geopolicy