Court turns down police appeal in Berezhkov case

Dmitry Berezhkov, former Vice President in RAIPON, is seeking political asylum in Norway.

Hålogaland Appellate Court Tuesday turned down the Norwegian police plea to extradite indigenous peoples activist Dmitry Berezhkov to Russian authorities.


The court ruling is yet another defeat for the police in Tromsø. Dmitry Berezhkov was last week freed from jail after the District Court in Tromsø ruled that the conditions for extradition of Berezhkov to Russian authorities were not present. On Monday, the police appealed the ruling and yesterday, the Appellate Court heard the case and decided to uphold the first court ruling.

While the prosecutor said that nothing in the case suggested anything else than a normal demanded extradition to Russia, the court ruling reads that the prosecution against Berezhkov in Russia could be linked with Russian authorities current crackdown on RAIPON, the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North. Dmitry Berezhkov is the former Vice President of RAIPON.

Over the last year, Dmitry Berezhkov has been a student at the University of Tromsø.

Dmitry Berezhkov was arrested just after returning from the preparatory meeting for the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples that took place in Alta, Northern Norway. The arrest triggered massive protests from the indigenous peoples community in the Barents Region.