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Russian Official: 'Thousands of Georgians are in Russia Illegally'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 13 Jun.'12 / 21:23

Head of Russia’s Federal Migration Service, Konstantin Romodanovsky, said on June 13 that there were over 9,000 Georgian citizens staying in Russia with violation of immigration procedures.

“We will be finding these people and either the migration service or court will be taking decisions about them,” Romodanovsky told journalists, according to the Russian news agencies.

Remarks came on the day when Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) held hearing into Georgia’s complaints against Russia over deportations of ethnic Georgians from Russia more than five years ago. The case concerns the alleged harassment of the Georgian immigrant population in Russia in late 2006 following the arrest of four Russian officers in Georgia on espionage charges.

Romodanovsky said that those Georgians were deported because they were in Russia illegally.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on June 13, that the Russian officials’ remarks marked the launch of “yet another campaign of persecution of the Georgian citizens” in Russia.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry’s statement starts with noting police search of homes of several Russian opposition leaders in Moscow, saying that it was the launch of yet another “wave of mass human rights violations” in Russia. It also said that remarks by the head of Russian Migration Service should “be considered in this context” of human rights violations.

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