Russian opposition activist granted asylum in Lithuania

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Russian opposition activist granted asylum in Lithuania

AP

today granted political asylum to anti-Kremlin Dmitry Bukhenkov, the latest Russian to receive refugee status in the Baltic state in recent years.

“The migration department has provided him asylum, refugee status. We will not comment about the reasons. Simply put, he meets the criteria to receive refugee status,” the department’s told AFP.

The 39-year-old academic was detained in 2015 for over a year after being accused of clashing with police at an anti-Kremlin demonstration in 2012 following a won by

Bukhenkov denied the allegation, telling AFP: “I was well-known to the political police and I had taken part in many opposition demonstrations, but not this one for which I was detained.”

Later placed under house arrest, he decided to flee the country and contacted human rights activists, who oriented him towards

He arrived in October 2017 after passing through to avoid contact with Russian border guards.

“I chose for two reasons: the clear anti-Putin orientation of its leaders and the fact that 50 to 60 percent of Lithuanians understand Russian,” Bukhenkov said.

A total of 33 Russians have received political asylum in Lithuania since 2014, according to the migration department.

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