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Court Rules in Favor of 2 Russians Previously Denied Refugee Status

Written: 2023-02-14 14:04:56Updated: 2023-02-14 15:17:38

Court Rules in Favor of 2 Russians Previously Denied Refugee Status

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: A South Korean court has ruled in favor of two Russian men whose applications for refugee status were originally denied. They are among five Russian men who have been stranded in Incheon International Airport for months after fleeing their country to avoid being drafted to fight in Ukraine.
Our Bae Joo-yon has more.

Report: The Incheon District Court ruled in favor of two of three Russian men seeking refugee status in suits filed against the Korea Immigration Service under the justice ministry on Tuesday.

Together with South Korean human rights groups, the Russian men filed the suits last October after the immigration service deemed their applications for refugee status ineligible for evaluation on the basis that refusal of conscription was not a reason for refugee recognition.

The three men are part of a group of five young Russians that have been left stranded at Incheon International Airport for around four months.

South Korean rights groups had called on the government to accept the men as refugees, referring to them as “political refugees who face persecution.”

The plaintiffs hailed the court’s decision on Tuesday while unveiling plans to appeal the ruling for the compatriot whose suit was dismissed without explanation by the court.

The two Russian men who won the suit are expected to leave the airport this week and make preparations to acquire refugee status.

Administrative suits are ongoing for the other two Russian men. 

All men up to the age of 60 with a clean criminal record are eligible for military conscription in Russia. According to CNN, Russian soldiers who refuse to fight and return to the front line are held in basements in occupied Ukrainian territory and face charges of desertion.
Bae Joo-yon, KBS World Radio News.

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