Three Russians have been camping at Incheon International Airport near Seoul for a year. The men wanted to escape to South Korea after Vladimir Putin announced his military mobilization.
In October last year, three Russians fled their country for fear of being drafted into the army and sent to the front line fighting against Ukraine. They chose South Korea as their escape destination, but not everything went as they expected. The men are stuck at Incheon International Airport, where they have been camping for a year.
The Russians have been camping at the Incheon airport for a year
The Yonhap agency recalls that after landing, they applied for asylum, but the South Korean Ministry of Justice rejected them. The Korean authorities decided that skipping military service was not a basis for granting refugee status.
The Russians asked for the ministry’s decision to be invalidated, and in February this year, the Incheon District Court issued a ruling in favor of two of them. However, the ministry appealed to a higher court, which resulted in the Russians continuing to camp at the airport.
Local authorities should provide them with better conditions
On Monday, the Korean National Human Rights Commission decided that local authorities should provide humanitarian aid to Russians. The airport authorities were advised to expand the space for Russians in the departure waiting area and provide them with better living conditions and better food.
The committee also asked the Ministry of Justice to create a separate waiting room outside the airport and to prepare, in cooperation with the Speaker of the National Assembly, regulations on providing Russians with dietary, exercise and medical support.
The South Korean human rights body noted that prolonged stay in the airport departure lounge may be contrary to human dignity and values as defined in the Constitution regarding eating, sleeping, exercise and medical care.