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Caritas condemns extradition of man from Chechenya

A father who Caritas officals warned is facing death if he is extradited back to Chechenya  has been forcibly sent home.

Immigration officials in Austria had been urged to show leniency to the man as his pregnant wife and 10-month-old baby are being allowed to remain in the country but convictions for a fight in an asylum cntre and for theft meant he was not entitled to a compassionate exemption.

Caritas wanted the man to be allowed to stay with his wife and child and said the right to a family life should take priority, but officials have now sent him back to Russia and then on to Chechenya.

The man should have been sent a month ago but the plan to move him was delayed after he attempted suicide. In addition, because he refused to go willingly, he will now be banned from coming back into Austria.

Caritas asylum spokesman Martin Fellacher said the case was very complicated because the woman had been given asylum seeker status and therefore was allowed to remain in Austria – but he was not allowed to remain because he had the two criminal convictions.

Fellacher had appealed for officials to slow down the process and take time to think about things, because he said the men had already made one suicide attempt and in addition he faced a very real threat to his life when he was returned to Chechnya.

A protest by about two dozen Chechen people living in Vorarlberg has already been made in support of the bid to allow the man to remain and backing the allegation that he faces certain death if sent back to Russia.

The man had already had three asylum applications turned down and the stress of the situation has meant that his wife had been hospitalised in Bregenz.

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