Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 17

The Czech Republic is considering a plan to repatriate several hundred Chechen refugees who have entered the republic from Poland in recent months, the human rights group Prague Watchdog reported on May 9. Though the Czech Interior Ministry has stated that the repatriation will be voluntary, human rights advocates have noted with concern the view expressed by ministry officials that the government of the Czech Republic now considers Chechnya to be a safe place for returnees.

According to the Prague Watchdog report, two independent sources who advised the Interior Ministry said “that Chechen asylum seekers would actually be given two options: They can either accept the Ministry’s offer and receive a subsidy, or ignore it and later on see their asylum application rejected and face the obligation to leave the Czech Republic without any subsidy.”