Wallraff Sent Back

Famous German journalist Guenter Wallraff, together with the organizer of the humanitarian organization Cap Anamur Rupert Neudeck and German ex-minister for labor problems, Norbert Bluem failed to “inform the community” about human rights violations in Chechnya. Russian special services didn’t allow them to. Wallraff, Bluem and Neudeck were detained in a Moscow airport on Tuesday. The men were convoyed to a service office of the Moscow airport of Sheremetyevo, and then Wallraff was ordered to go home with the same flight. The rest of the men  left for Germany together with Wallraff. Being already in Frankfurt, the men indulged in indignation and strictly criticized the Russian special services for the “aggressive and rude” treatment. The information was reported by Der Spiegel

In his last interview, Wallraff revealed his obviously anti-Russian position concerning the situation in Chechnya; he also criticized the policy of President Vladimir Putin and blamed him for violation of human rights in the Chechen republic. Der Spiegel supposes that the unkind treatment at the Moscow airport was a response to that criticism.
Meanwhile, a source in  the Russian Foreign Ministry informs, Wallraff planned to enter Russia with his tourist visa which gave no right to work as a journalist in the country. This is a gross violation of the Russian legislation, the Ministry states.

In connection with the once again increasing wave of resentment about Russia’s resolute actions, the press center of the Russian Federal Frontier Service had to make explanatory statements on the situation, Russian news agency ITAR-TASS informs. In particular, the statement says that the German human rights activists could threaten Russia’s security with their actions.

“German citizen Guenter Wallraff wasn’t allowed to the Russian Federation territory upon his arrival from Germany to the Moscow airport of Sheremetyevo-2 in accordance with the item 1 of the article #27 of the federal law “On entry and departure from the Russian Federation”. As stated in the article, “foreigners or people without citizenship are not allowed to the Russian Federation…if it is necessary for security of the state.”

Russian frontier guards closely followed the RF legislation and violated no norms of the international law, the Russian Federal Frontier Service stresses.

Some time ago, Wallraff became very popular due to his revelatory publications about the newspaper Bild, in the editorial office of which he worked under an assumed name. His popularity also increased after his book “Ganz unten” (1985) was published in 30 countries of the world. The book was written based on the author’s experience, who for a long period of time had been working and living under trying conditions together with workers from Turkey (he certainly was there under an assumed name as well).  Wallraff passed himself off as Turkish workman Ali.  After publication of the book, intermediate companies providing cheap man power to businessmen were shut down in the country.  

It’s a pity that Guenter Wallraff is such an ardent human rights activist just at home, in Germany. Obviously, it’s rather unprofitable in the West today to support Moscow’s policy regarding Chechnya.

Pyotr Bely

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Author`s name Michael Simpson