Because of the war, the human rights situation in Russia became much more worrisome. Draconian laws regulate the work of organizations engaged in activities deemed political by the government. The constant harassment of these organizations by the authorities has made it next to impossible to openly and freely discuss Indigenous Peoples’ rights, especially land rights and self-determination. Сritical Indigenous voices fear persecution and can no longer effectively stand up for their rights and publicly criticize the government.
The criminalization of indigenous rights activists and political leaders has peaked these days considering the before war times. Many indigenous rights defenders were criminalized in one way or another, and many more became silent.
Under these circumstances, some indigenous activists or community leaders were forced to escape Russia to avoid further criminalization or forced mobilization for the war in Ukraine.
ICIPR, as a network of indigenous activists living abroad, supports such cases with technical, financial or consultation assistance.
During the last year, we have supported several relocations of indigenous activists from Russia and their applying for political asylum in different countries, including the case of Mark Zdor – a student from Chukotka who had to move to Germany (see the full story here – https://indigenous-russia.com/archives/32073) or Andrey Danilov – a Sami activist from Murmansk region who applied for political asylum in Norway (here – https://indigenous-russia.com/archives/20057).