MOSCOW, February 14 (RIA Novosti) – Russian migration authorities revised on Thursday their decision to deport an Afghan teenager who claimed to be facing death penalty at home because she converted from Islam to Christianity.
“Granting…temporary asylum in Russia is a humane solution in this situation,” the Federal Migration Service said in a statement.
Ruya Ivaz Ali, 19, converted from Islam to Orthodox Christianity some time after moving to Russia’s Perm Region in the Urals with her family in 2011, the migration service said.
Ali’s father spent hours beating her after learning about her conversion, she told the online tabloid Lifenews.ru in a filmed interview released on Wednesday.
Ali was eventually abandoned by her relatives, who have been avoiding the migration authorities ever since, the tabloid reported.
The teenager, meanwhile, requested asylum in Russia, saying that if expelled to Afghanistan, she would face death by stoning as an apostate of Islam, in accordance with sharia law.
In January, Perm migration authorities denied her request and placed her into a detention center for illegal migrants to await deportation.
However, after her story appeared in the press, the central office of the Federal Migration Service overruled the decision and granted Ali temporary asylum, which is valid for a year and can be extended.