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Russian asylum seeker receives letter from Queen

PUBLISHED: 10:29 08 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:02 07 September 2010

A PREGNANT Russian asylum seeker has been given a royal boost in her bid to stay in her adopted country

Ben McPartland

A PREGNANT Russian asylum seeker has been given a royal boost in her bid to stay in her adopted country.

Singer songwriter Zhanna Andrianova - aka Jahna Sebastian - is desperately battling against deportation to Russia where she says she will be at the mercy of racist neo-Nazi thugs.

Ms Andrianova is half Indian and an outspoken supporter of the anti-fascist movement.

This month, the singer - who is eight months' pregnant - received the boost that she will finally be given the fair hearing which, she says, has always been denied her.

On top of that, Ms Andrianova received a letter from the Queen.

Her solicitor, Khalid Sofi, of Kentish Town-based firm Johns and Saggar, said: "We are very pleased with the outcome. Finally it has been accepted that her case was not dealt with appropriately.

"She did not have an opportunity to put forward her own case and we are looking to putting it before the panel as soon as possible."

When Ms Andrianova tried to claim asylum on November 21 last year, she was immediately detained and spent the next two months in Yarl's Wood detention centre after being put on the 'fast-track' procedure.

She was eventually allowed to return home to Tufnell Park in January after successfully appealing against a decision to deport her.

Last week, she was told that a senior immigration judge, Andrew Jordan, declared an error was made in her case and it must now be looked at again.

He referred to "the procedural unfairness that may hereby have been caused by propelling a case into fast-track when the issues involved were neither straightforward nor illuminated by clear-cut country guidance."

In an attempt to raise the profile of her case and garner some royal support, Ms Andrianova wrote a letter to Buckingham Palace asking for help.

She received a reply earlier this month.

It read: "The Queen has asked the private secretary to thank you for your letter and to say it has been forwarded to the relevant government department so that your approach to Her Majesty may be known and consideration given to the points you raise."

The letter also included an apology for the delay in responding which was blamed on the sheer number of people writing to the Queen at the moment.

Russia has experienced a worrying rise in neo-Nazi gangs since the downfall of the Soviet era.

In recent years, there have been hundreds of racist attacks on ethnic minorities and dozens have been killed.

The Foreign Office carries warnings on its website about the increase in racially motivated attacks in Russia.

Ms Andrianova, who graduated from the Russian Academy of Music in 2006, is now eager to concentrate on her career again after losing out on two months of her life.

ben.mcpartland@hamhigh.co.uk


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