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Oppositionist Dolmatov commits suicide in the Netherlands

January 18, 2013, 12:18 UTC+3

One day before that the Dutch authorities denied him political asylum and were preparing to extradite him

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Russian oppositionist Alexander Dolmatov, one of those involved in the case of rallies on May 6 and activist of Drugaya Russia (The Other Russia Party), committed suicide on Thursday in a centre for deportees in Rotterdam (the Netherlands). One day before that the Dutch authorities denied him political asylum and were preparing to extradite him. According to his friends, Dolmatov fell into depression finding himself between two fires: criminal prosecution in his homeland, and demands in the Netherlands to provide information about his work at a Russian military plant.

According to media reports, over the recent days Dolmatov’s mother had been failing to reach him by phone, the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper writes. Shortly before his death, the oppositionist sent an SMS message to his girlfriend saying he was in prison in Rotterdam. The motives making him do this are not yet known.

Alexander Dolmatov fled the Russian Federation in July 2012, the Kommersant writes. The oppositionist took part in the March of Millions on May 6, which ended in clashes with police in Bolotnaya Square. The Investigative Committee qualified the events as mass disorders. Almost 20 participants in the action were arrested. “Alexander himself said that he was not restraining his temper in Bolotnaya Square and actively used force trying to resist police,” Drugaya Rossiya’s spokesman Alexander Averin said. Searches were conducted at Dolmatov’s home place, and he preferred to flee Russia filing an asylum request to the Dutch authorities.

However, he was denied political asylum. It is known that he filed an appeal, but the immigration department of the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice refused yesterday to comment on the reasons for the refusal. Anti-fascist Denis Solopov (was a defendant in the case of an attack on the Khimki administration in 2010 and then got political asylum in the Netherlands) told the Kommersant that from the first days of January Dolmatov stopped contacting the lawyer and the mother.

Dolmatov’s lawyers and acquaintances have managed to find out that earlier he at least twice attempted suicide, slitting wrists at a camp for refugees outside Dordrecht. The latest attempt was made last Sunday. He was brought round and then they were to have placed him under special care, Geert Ates from the international human rights organization United said. But instead he was sent to prison, where nobody even gave an eye to his condition, he added.

According to Mr. Solopov, Dolmatov fell into a deep depression after being denied an asylum. Before fleeing Russia he was chief designer at the Takticheskoye Raketnoye Vooruzhenie (Tactical Missiles) Corporation (designing all-purpose missiles), and had third-level access to state secrets (one of the lowest). As it turned out, the Dutch authorities took an interest in Dolmatov’s knowledge of Russian military technologies. “He complained to me that officials and law enforcement officers were asking about his job too actively and in detail at interviews. Alexander said to me that he had not told them anything,” Solopov said.

Human right activists believe that the Dutch authorities are responsible for his death. “Local authorities criticize Russia for being indifferent to human rights, but at the same time they don’t want to quarrel with its authorities because of economic interests. They grant the refugee status to anyone but to those who really need it,” the head of the Lawyers for Human Rights association, Yevgeny Arkhipov, told the Kommersant daily.


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