Three of them arrived at Incheon Airport in October and two more in November.
Lee Jong-san, a lawyer for the five Russians, said their applications for refugee status had been rejected by the South Korean Ministry of Justice. As a result, the men waited in the departure area for the next few months for the appeal to be considered.
See: Russia. Less support for “special military action”. “Partial Aggregation” was decided
“They get one meal a day, which is lunch,” Lee told CNN. The rest of the day they live on “bread and water”. He added that they can take a shower and wash clothes by hand.
“They have limited access to medical care and no support for their mental health, which is crucial given their precarious situation,” the lawyer said.
Refusal to serve in the army for “political reason”
Seoul assesses that this is not a reason for applicants to be granted refugee status.
See: Mobilization in Russia. Demonstration detention of soldiers. They should be held responsible for violating the order
According to Lee, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was “condemned by international law” and their refusal to serve in the Russian army “should be considered a political reason”.
“They are political refugees.”
“People fleeing their countries from political and religious persecution and seeking refugee status are entitled to protection under international law,” the South Korean Human Rights Group said in a statement. It added that if the men returned to their country, they would be detained or conscripted into the army.
See: Mobilization in Russia. “We are coughing up blood.” The soldiers fell ill and the doctor ran away
They are political refugees facing persecution.
The three Russians, who arrived in South Korea in October, will be sentenced on January 31. The court will decide whether the Ministry of Justice can reconsider their applications.
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