AMSTERDAM (AP) — A Russian man who had sought political asylum in the Netherlands committed suicide while awaiting deportation to his homeland, Dutch authorities said Thursday.
The man, identified in Russian media as Alexander Dolmatov, killed himself in a Rotterdam detention center, Justice Ministry spokeswoman Charlotte Menten said. Dolmatov sought asylum in the Netherlands in June. His request was rejected after a "careful procedure" by Dutch immigration authorities, Menten said. She said he left a note citing personal reasons for his suicide, not his asylum status or imminent return to Russia.
Dolmatov was among those arrested in May clashes with police after Russian President Vladimir Putin's inauguration. One fellow protestor has been sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison. The trial of 18 others will begin in March.
"I don't understand why Holland refused ... didn't they understand that he was threatened with a long period in prison in Russia?" Russian human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva was quoted as telling the Interfax news agency.
Yevgeny Arkhipov, an attorney for the Other Russia opposition group with which Dolmatov was a member, was also critical of the Netherlands, saying: "The responsibility for the tragedy lies with the authorities of the county he was in."