“Stop the deportation of Evgeny Fedorov!” demands Pontus Kyander in the Swedish daily Sydsvenska Dagbladet Snällposten.
Original in Swedish:
Sydsvenskan “Stoppa utvisningen av Evgeny Fedorov!”:
Rush Translation via Google:
Stop the deportation of Evgeny Fedorov!
August 5, 2022 3:27 p.m
The regime-critical Russian musician is to be deported to Estonia. But there are no guarantees that he will be allowed to stay.
Pontus Kyander is an art critic based in Helsinki.
Conflicts and wars affect artists to a great extent, and for almost ten years the organization Artists at Risk has been working to provide protection for artists fleeing conflict zones and persecution. Safe but mostly temporary shelters have been established in cooperation with several hundred organizations in [more than] twenty countries. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has further increased the need for artists seeking protection, currently helping around 1,000 [+] artists from Ukraine and 275 [+] artists from Russia. They need not only a place to live, but also legal, economic, financial and often also medical and psychological help.
The artists’ safety in the long term depends on the authorities’ understanding and cooperation. Through the care of the Gothenburg-based Konsteepidemin, the Russian musician Evgeny Fedorov and his family are currently in an artist residency, but are threatened with immediate deportation. The reason is that Fedorov arrived in Sweden via Estonia.
Saint Petersburg-based Fedorov, who led the rock bands Tequilajazzz, Optimystica Orchestra and Zorge, is openly critical of the regime. Both he and a family member have major medical needs. At the same time, he has managed to establish fruitful and long-term collaborations with musicians in Sweden.
In Estonia, there are no guarantees either that he will be allowed to stay or that the family will receive the emergency care they need. Estonia has previously denied Russian musicians residence permits citing the country’s security. The situation for Russian refugees and students has gradually become more difficult in Estonia. If Fedorov is forced to return to Russia, the same type of mock trial and long prison sentences that befell other dissidents and cultural workers likely await them. Fedorov was unlikely to survive the conditions in a Russian prison.
But the Swedish Migration Agency is adamant about the Fedorov case, and on Monday, August 8 at 4 a.m., the family will be picked up by the police and deported to Estonia.
There are strong humanitarian reasons to let Fedorov stay in Sweden. Artists at Risk’s founders Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky, together with Theresa Lekberg at SWAN (Swedish Artist Residency Network) and the chairman of Swedish PEN Jesper Bengtsson, appealed to Minister of Migration Anders Ygeman and the Migration Court to stop the deportation. The sand in the hourglass is running out. The deportation of Evgeny Fedorov must be stopped!