Border guards training to stop illegal border-crosser between Russia and Norway. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

African migrants jailed for trying to reach Norway

Three young men and two women cut through Russia’s barbed wire fence, but were detained by FSB before reaching Norway.
February 07, 2018

The five are two citizens of the Republic of Congo and three citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In mid-October last year, they arrived to Murmansk, left their passports at the hotel and got transport to the border area in the Pechenga district, the Prosecutor’s Office in Murmansk reports on Wednesday. No details are given about how they managed to secretly enter the border zone where passports normally are checked at Titovka for all foreign travelers.

The five where not stopped before after they had cut through the barbed wire fence and were on their way towards the borderline to Norway.

A court in Pechenga found all five guilty of illegal attempts to cross the state border. The three men got a six months jail sentence, while the two women have to spend five months in prison, the Prosecutor’s office informs.

Russia has its own barbed wire fence all along the 196 kilometres long border to Norway in the north. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Six illegal attempts in a year 

This was the sixth time last year that migrants were arrested in attempt to cross the border to Norway.

A month ago, three Afghans who illegally tried to cross the border from Russia to Norway were sentenced to six months behind bars. They were detained inside the closed border zone in September.

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In August 2017, a Syrian citizen was arrested after he climbed the through the barbed wire fence. In July, two other Syrians made it through the fence, but were detained before they reached the borderline. In June, four Moroccans were arrested and in March, two Iranians were halted.

On the Russian side of the border, the barbed wire fence stretches all 196 kilometers. The fence has alarm system and in some areas near public roads, there are also surveillance cameras working day and night. The fence is in different distances to the border line itself, some places a few hundred meters, other places several kilometers from the border.

In the autumn 2015, some 5,500 migrants where allowed to leave Russia and enter Norway at the Borisoglebsk-Storskog border checkpoints. The so-called “Arctic Migrant Route” ended in late November 2015. 

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