On July 26, a citizen of Turkmenistan who lived in Russia swam illegally across the Russian-Estonian border across the Narva River near the Friendship Bridge. According to the Memorial Human Rights Center, he was detained by Estonian border guards and unlawfully expelled to Russia without admission to the asylum procedure, with a ban on entering Estonia for a period of five years.
The border trespasser turned out to be 26-year-old Akhmet Dzhumadurdyev , who is being persecuted for religious reasons in Turkmenistan.
According to human rights activists, on September 22, the Kingisepp City Court (Leningrad Region) began considering his case. The man is charged under Article 322, part 1 of the Criminal Code of Russia (" Organization of illegal migration", is punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to seven years with a fine of up to five hundred thousand rubles or in the amount of the convicted person's salary or other income for a period of up to three years or without such and with restriction of liberty for up to two years or without it, - ed. ).
According to information posted on the court's website, the next hearing is scheduled for October 1.
Memorial's report notes that representatives of the Turkmen diaspora are concerned about the possibility of the forced return of Akhmet Dzhumadurdyev to Turkmenistan. In 2017-2018, he spent a year in a pre-trial detention center in connection with an extradition request, but was released by a decision of the prosecutor's office. He was denied asylum, so his legal status in Russia has not yet been settled.
Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan