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After six years living in limbo, Natig Sadygov declared stateless

Natig now hopes that his pending application for Irish citizenship will be processed swiftly.

Natig Sadygov with Hilkka Becker, Senior Solicitor of the Immigrant Council of Ireland.
Natig Sadygov with Hilkka Becker, Senior Solicitor of the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

SIX YEARS AGO Natig Sadygov was left stranded in Ireland without documentation or the right to a passport.

It happened after a bureaucratic dispute unexpectedly arose over whether he was a citizen of Lithuania or the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Legal action seeking to reinstate his Lithuanian citizenship failed to resolve the situation and it was also established that he was also not entitled to citizenship of Azerbaijan.

Since then Natig has been campaigning to have his rights as a stateless person recognised in Ireland.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland today secured a declaration of statelessness for Sadygov.

He now hopes that his pending application for Irish citizenship will be processed swiftly and that he will again have access to the most basic right, the right to a nationality.

Hilkka Becker, Senior Solicitor with the Immigrant Council of Ireland welcomed the decision in the case:

Being a citizen of a country guarantees us some of our most basic rights and entitlements – it is our access to social services, our right to work and travel, the right to a passport and the right to vote.

“When people find themselves with no citizenship or in the case of Natig Sadygov have that citizenship removed without warning – they have no security, protections or certainty”.

Revoked

Natig travelled to Ireland as a citizen of Lithuania but almost three years after arriving in Ireland he was suddenly informed that his citizenship was being revoked in the mistaken belief that he was a citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan did not exist as an independent state when he was born in the old USSR in 1966 and when he left his hometown to move to the Lithuanian part of the USSR in the 80s.

When legal proceedings in Lithuania failed to resolve the issue, the Irish immigration service granted Natig a residence permit.

The decision to now issue a declaration of statelessness gives him more certainty and increased rights.

Over 600,000 stateless persons will be actively taking part in a major campaign on this issue in the coming weeks.

 

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