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Russian activist kills himself after Dutch asylum failure (update)

Friday 18 January 2013

A Russian opposition activist has been found dead in the Netherlands after being refused political asylum, the Dutch justice ministry confirmed on Thursday.

Aleksander Dolmatov, arrested last May during a demonstration opposing president Vladimir Putin, applied for political asylum in the Netherlands in June, saying he feared for his life.

Dolmatov was found dead in a Dutch detention centre early on Thursday morning. He was sent to the centre on Wednesday to await deportation after his application for asylum failed.


A spokesman for junior justice minister Fred Teeven told the NRC he had left a note for his mother, but did not go into details about why his application for asylum had been rejected.

The spokesman also said staff at the detention centre did not see any signs that Domatov intended to kill himself. However, based on earlier reports, he was being held in a section for asylum seekers with psychiatric problems, the spokesman said.

According to the BBC, the Dutch acting ambassador in Moscow, Onno Elderenbosch, said it was clear from a suicide note that Dolmatov's death was not triggered by his asylum disappointment.


Hundreds of people gathered outside the Dutch embassy in Moscow on Friday to commemorate Domatov. Several laid flowers, Nos television said.

The man's lawyer told Nos that Domatov should not have been moved to a deportation centre because on Friday he had lodged an appeal against the rejection of his asylum request.

He also told the broadcaster the immigration service had rejected the application, saying Domatov did not face a serious risk if he was sent back to Russia.

Earlier stories
Russian activist applies for asylum in the Netherlands

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

White, Christian, well-educated - the Netherlands does not need people like him.

By Peter | 18 January 2013 8:57 AM

Russian activist kills himself after failing to win Dutch asylum. After being refused unemployment benefits by your officials which under European law and the European Court finding ref. E301, E303 I was eligible,it had consequently a spiral of events which led to a domino effect of in me not being able to pay my bills. Having no criminal record I was put in an open prison for over a year in which time ”Stichting Budget” sold my house for which I paid cash, stole all my possession all my personal papers birth certificates, University certificate being Swiss and British I am now stateless as I have not proven to be who I say I am, all without accountancy. The dark side of Holland, as this Russian experienced is emerging. I pass my condolence on this regarding.

By Terence Hale | 18 January 2013 10:47 AM

More likely he had some help to ' kill himself '. Few years ago I've spent 4 days and 3 nights in insolation cell in Dutch detention center: matress on the floor, metal toilet, no clothers ( just robe )and 24 hours survailance ( camera and in person ). You can not kill yourself over there.
Asylum is not a lottery to win or loose.Asylum is a matter of life or death for people who are politicaly persecuted or otherwise need protection.
Alexander Dolmatov got protection......

By Eric | 18 January 2013 10:54 AM

The decision to deny him political asylum was most likely based on a psychiatric analysis and profile rather than life threat, real or unreal. It's too bad he ended his life as he might very well have won an appeal in the EU court of justice.

By Quince | 18 January 2013 11:13 AM

I thought Holland was a civilized country, Dolmatov fled Russia for the only purpose - to save his life, not to mention he was a rocket scientist. All I can say, dutch government pretty much like killed him. As a russian, I will change my opinion of your country for ever. bastards

By Roman | 18 January 2013 12:59 PM

wasn't 2013 announced as a year of Dutch-Russian relations?!
it's just sad/

By Jack | 18 January 2013 4:07 PM

@Roman, are you sure it wasn't the behavior or your own government who killed him?

By pepe | 18 January 2013 4:23 PM

@Roman: If you had to blame a government for Mr Dolmatov's death, shouldn't the Russian government be first on the list?

By expat | 18 January 2013 4:41 PM

@ Expat and Pepe : For people who don't undestand: Nobody say Russian government is good. No, it's dictatorial, intrussive and dangerous, but... that is why the Dutch government has international obligations under Refugee's Convention to protect people who run for their lives escaping political persecution in Russia or other countries.
And protection is not a lottery, it must be granted, at least temporarily.

By Eric | 18 January 2013 5:30 PM

No government actually "killed" Dolmatov as he did that himself. But it is the Dutch government that is actually guilty of manslaughter, imho. And that's pretty close to killing, indeed.

By Peter | 18 January 2013 7:11 PM

Dutch govt collaborated with Putin to kill the guy.

By Steve | 18 January 2013 7:47 PM


I am not sure if your first comment was sarcastic or implied racism. Please clarify it.

By R | 19 January 2013 6:12 PM

Now we know the real price of Dutch democracy...
Shame on you, Netherlands!

By rootshell | 19 January 2013 8:31 PM

Shame on Netherlands Human Right record for supporting Russian lawlessness.

By viktor | 19 January 2013 10:42 PM

Pete, Russian government would have killed him, had he stayed at home, so we are exluding it from the "formula" for a while. More importantly is that it is the Dutch authorities who had a chance not to repeat the mistake. Yes, yes, I know, he did it himself.. maybe he was a psycho or something.. but he wanted to save his life, he asked, and was declined. Isnt there a logic tie there? Go ahead and attact of bunch of uneducated crowd and keep rejecting smart people!

By Roman | 20 January 2013 2:10 AM

All liberal people in Russia are extremely disappointed by the way how Dutch authorities handled Dolmatov's case. Prominent Russian liberal journalists, like Yulia Latynina, directly blame Dutch asylum system with its rotten nature where thousands of "refugees" from the 3rd world are welcomed simply for the sake of pumping more money into the system which provides care for them and operates for its own expansion. Dolmatov did not fit into it. He killed himself after he was put into detention center together with criminals and drug dealers from Africa and Middle East which was a shock for him. A huge blow for Holland's image in Russia...

By Anton | 20 January 2013 4:05 AM

Very sad to hear this.Dutch gov must have given temporarly asylum to Aleksander.Putin gov is like a cruel regime.Holland is accepting hundreds of somalians,tamils,iraq,afghans immigrants every year which are of no use for Dutch government n depending on social benefits.I feel sad the loss of a poltical intelligent activist

By Parvez Khan | 20 January 2013 5:36 PM

Agree with Steve, it was a collaboration

By Gala | 20 January 2013 6:00 PM

It is strange that there are many asylums from Africa in UK, other european countries and there are not or very small amount asylums from Russia.

By nnnn | 20 January 2013 7:55 PM

How many of the comments made are actually quite racist. As if a white christian from Europe has more rights then people from Africa or the Middle East. And no Anton, not everyone from those regions is a criminal or a drug dealer.

By pepe | 21 January 2013 11:13 AM

First of all Condolences!
@Parvez Khan"Holland is accepting hundreds of somalians,tamils,iraq,afghans immigrants every year which are of no use" this is an awful statement; is this said out of anger and pain?
We cannot teach the Dutch government how to deal with its own immigration; it's a sovereign country!!
Every system has glitches but, this doesn't give anyone the right to say such and such person doesn't have right to life based on his origin.

By Naniwewe | 21 January 2013 11:35 AM

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