Russia bars Japanese NGO worker


A Japanese worker involved in humanitarian work in the Chechen Republic for a nongovernmental organization has been denied entry to Russia, according to the Japanese Embassy in Moscow.

Yukiko Kikuchi, 25, leader of the Imran Fund, was denied entry Monday by Russian immigration authorities at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow, according to the embassy.

Kikuchi, a Moscow State University student, was returning to Moscow after a brief visit to Japan. She is expected to be deported to Japan soon.

The Russian authorities did not state the reasons Kikuchi was denied entry. But her recent activities in the Chechen Republic may lie behind their decision.

Kikuchi and other NGO workers collected donations for a teenager who sustained serious head injuries in the Chechen war to have surgery in Japan.