Defenders of the rights of aboriginals of Siberia are forced to leave Russia after they faced persecutions

Yana and Vladislav Tannagashev, representatives of the Shor indigenous people from South West Siberia, activists from the non-registered organization “Revival of Kazas and Shor people” were forced to leave Russia with their children and applied for refugee status in a European country.

The departure of these defenders of indigenous peoples followed persecutions from the authorities of the Kemerovo district and the affiliated coal company, the police and intelligence services that started several years ago and recently intensified. A few years ago, Yana Tannagasheva was dismissed from her position as a school teacher; the family house that she owned, located on the traditional Shor land was burnt down by unidentified individuals along with several other Shor houses (2013-2014). The coal company was suspected but nobody was brought to justice. Recently, Yana and Vladislav phone were tapped, and they were under close surveillance. The police came to their house and cautioned them against participation in human rights activities; the FSB threatened them, calling in for “conversations” with their relatives and friends and made threats concerning the defenders’ children.

Yana Tannagasheva is famous for her determined and uncompromising fight for the right of Shor people and other indigenous people. She always stood up against discrimination both in her region and internationally. Shor human rights activists took part in the preparation of a number of reports submitted in cooperation with ADC Memorial: the UN Committee on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights (2017), the Council of Europe (on the implementation of the RF Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities), spoke several times at UN events (the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, (August 2017), UN Minority Rights Forum, United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights).

During the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (New York) on 16 April 2018 Pavel Sulyandziga – well-known defender of the rights of indigenous people and who also had to leave Russia and seek asylum-  made a speech in support of Yana Tannagasheva.