Wives appeal to Tajikistan authorities and Moscow to send their rogue husbands home

Wayward migrant workers abandon desperate families in former republics


Women in the small Central Asian country of Tajikistan are asking Russia to deport their rogue husbands.

Groups of wives have appealed to the Tajikistan authorities and to Russia’s Federal Migration Service seeking to the return of their husbands, brothers and sons, after the men travelled to Russia to find  work but failed to keep in touch or send money home as they had promised.

According to the World Bank, 47 per cent of Tajikistan’s GDP in 2012 came from remittances from Tajik citizens working in Russia.

One of the women, Mokhru Kholova, said her husband Olim had not contacted her for several years.

“I found out that he got married there. He’s not sending money to his children. Let them deport him! Maybe that will make him return home to his children,” Mrs Kholova told the Moscow newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.

The Tajikistan migration service receives about 15 requests each month from women seeking the return of male relatives from Russia, although the agency cannot force them to return. The Independent could not reach Russia’s Federal Migration Service for comment.

Estimates of the number of migrant workers living and working in Russia range from 11 million to 15 million, the vast majority of them from the mostly-Muslim former Soviet republics in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Although they are allowed to enter the country without a visa, migrant workers are supposed to register with authorities if they stay longer than 90 days.

Alexei Avganov of the Labour Union of Migrant Workers told The Independent that the stress of long periods of time apart meant that “divorce by telephone” had become a problem. He explained that according to some interpretations of Muslim tradition, if a husband tells his wife the Arabic word “talaq” three times, even by phone, their marriage is annulled. Appeals to migration authorities to deport men were “just isolated incidences when women are in despair and they appeal in hopes of getting their husbands back,” he said.

The huge influx of migrant workers serves a vital economic role, offering cheap labour, but it has also provoked the anger of Russians, especially in Moscow. Thousands of people rioted in a neighbourhood in southern Moscow last month after a migrant worker reportedly stabbed a Russian man to death following an altercation. An Azerbaijani national was eventually arrested for the crime, and Russian media showed him being beaten as he was escorted by law enforcement officers and paraded in front of the Minister of the Interior.

Police have cracked down on migrant workers in Moscow and the Olympic city of Sochi this year, rounding up hundreds at a time and deporting most of them. Moscow’s Mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, said this week that after one mosque now under construction, no new mosques would be built in the capital, even though thousands of migrant workers crowd the streets on religious holidays trying to get into one of the city’s four working mosques.

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
Life and Style
An Internet security expert has warned that voice recognition technology needs to be more secure
techExperts warn hackers could control our homes or spend our money simply by speaking
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

1st Line Service Desk Analyst

£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Computer Futures

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Computer Futures are currently...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style