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Youth
 
Russian Refugee Lands on Canadian Soil
Gang beatings spurred 4-month journey
ONLINE:   SATURDAY FEBRUARY 26, 12:54 PM EST (GMT-5).

A Russian national who suffered bashing in his Siberian homeland after word got out that he was gay and Jewish arrived at the Canadian border in Fort Erie last Sunday.

Seeking to join family here in Canada the 20-year old college student embarked on a pathway that took him through Amsterdam, Mexico and a US jail, the Toronto Sun reported.

He ended up on US soil in a jail for 11 weeks.
 
 
Denis Dementiev told the press he fled November 6th to escape beatings by as many as 20 men at a time.  He described taking a train to Moscow, flying to Amsterdam, then Mexico City and and then on to Tijuana.  His goal was to seek asylum at the US border as a route to Canada.  His sister Natalia Ganitcheva, 27, had followed a similar path and was there in Fort Erie with the man's niece to welcome him.

Ms. Ganitcheva arrived in Canada last year and awaits an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing.

Mr. Dementiev is also seeking asylum here as a refugee.  He reportedly has 18 days in which to ask the federal government for permission to apply for this.

While in Tijuana the young Russian was reportedly mugged and had his passport and possessions stolen.  He was denied entry at the US border for lack of documentation.  After deciding to sneak across anyway, he ended up on US soil in a jail for 11 weeks.  Fund-raising by American Jewish and gay groups provided $1500 for bail and a plane ticket to the Canadian border at Buffalo.