Chechen refugee detained in Lithuania

Lithuanian authorities detained a 17-year-old Chechen refugee, Umtsi Banzhaev, who together with his cousin, Beslan Abubakarov, 24, crossed the Russian-Lithuanian border and applied for asylum in Lithuania.

Umtsi’s father is Vakha Banzhaev, a Chechen activist who has received asylum in Austria. Mr Banzhaev was not allowed to meet his son. “My son fled [to Lithuania] to save his life, but what he got instead was jail,” Mr Banzhaev said at a press conference in the Lithuanian parliament.

Alla Dudaeva, widow of the first President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, Dzhokhar Dudaev, has appealed to the Lithuanian authorities in support of the two youngsters.

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