‘I Think It Was Racism’: How Russian Tourist Was Deported From London AirportCC BY 2.0 / dannyman / The UK Border at Heathrow AirportRussia22:30 21.02.2018(updated 22:36 21.02.2018) Get short URL113
The detention and deportation of Russian citizen Radmila Khakova from London’s Heathrow Airport sparked international scandal. The Russian embassy has already sent official requests. The reasons behind the incident remain unknown.
Russian citizen Radmila Khakova was detained at Heathrow Airport on February 11, and subsequently deported for allegedly violating the country’s visa regime.
The woman believes that the authorities’ move had racist motives and is ready to go the whole way to learn the true reasons behind the decision.
“I have reasons to believe that this happened on the basis of racism and class hatred: I am a Tatar, it can be seen on my face. But to look like a Muslim woman (or to be her, if I were her) is not a crime,” Khakova wrote on her Facebook page.
Khakova flew from Singapore to France, where she was going to spend a weekend. She did not have any baggage with her, only a backpack with the inscription “Come to Tatarstan,” and London was her transit stop.
Airport authorities took Radmila in for interrogation, during which she mistakenly said that she had not visited London before, but then corrected herself.
She also asked whether she could leave the transit zone to sleep in a hotel, but was suddenly taken to a detention center instead.
“The people who talked to me in London definitely laughed at me,” Khakova wrote. “When they brought me to prison instead of a hotel, they asked me several times ‘Are you happy?’ This may seem ridiculous to you, but this was as humiliating as the whole procedure.”
After her detention, British representatives accompanied Radmila from Heathrow to Singapore, and only then gave the woman her passport back.
The Russian embassy has already sent official requests to London to clarify the incident.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova addressed Britain’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson in her Facebook account.
“Harsh, wasn’t it? The Russian embassy in London, of course, will take care of this. But I would like our British colleagues both in Moscow and in the main office to comment on this story. Maybe Boris Johnson will pay attention to it. After all, we can talk about discrimination on a national basis!” Zakharova wrote.
“The important thing is: the young woman is ready to stick to her guns, is open to communication and willing to find out the root causes of such an attitude,” she added.
Meanwhile, Sputnik sent a request to Home Office Press Service in London to comment on the case.
The Office representatives replied that they “do not routinely comment on individual cases” and added that “all passengers must meet the requirements as set out in the Immigration Rules for Visitors.”