14 May 2007, 15:10
Russia deports Falun Gong advocate to China
Moscow, May 14, Interfax - Chinese national Gao Chunman has been denied refugee status and deported from Russia, the Federal Migration Service said on Monday.
Gao, born in 1934, was flown to his homeland from St. Petersburg on Sunday evening.
"The court examined all the circumstances of his stay in Russia and denied him refugee status finding no legal grounds for his presence in Russia," the spokesman said.
Gao said he had been a practitioner of Falun Gong, banned in China in 1999, the spokesman said.
"No documents were produced proving that Gao Chunman would be harassed in his home country or that his life would be threatened for political reasons in China," he said.
The Chinese side also offered guarantees that Gao would not be persecuted in his homeland, the spokesman said.
At the end of March, Russia deported Ma Hui to China. Russian human rights activists criticized the deportation decision because according to their knowledge Ma Hui had been an advocate of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.