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Netherlands Grants Asylum to Khimki Suspect


29 July 2011
The Moscow Times

An activist wanted in Russia over an attack on Khimki City Hall by anti-fascist and anarchist groups has been granted refugee asylum in the Netherlands.

Denis Solopov, a member of the Antifa anti-fascist group, flew to the Netherlands on Thursday, he told the organization Anti-Fascist Action of Ukraine.

Russian authorities placed Solopov on an international wanted list following the Khimki attack last July. He was detained in March in Kiev near the office of the Ukrainian migration service when he came to request asylum, Novaya Gazeta reported last month.

Solopov spent five months in a Ukrainian pretrial detention prison, but was released after receiving asylum in a “third, safe country,” a regional spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Maxim Butkevich, told Interfax. The asylum request was granted after the UN watchdog gave Solopov refugee status, Butkevich added.

Russian officials, who sought Solopov’s extradition, have not commented on the development. A mob attacked the City Hall building last July to protest an $8 billion highway through Khimki’s forest.

Only two people have gone on trial over the attack, including Solopov’s brother Maxim, who received a two-year suspended sentence in June, while the other defendant was acquitted.

Posted in english language, ex-soviet region.

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