Thursday, 07 January 2010 16:08

The Finnish police said Thursday they had arrested Hadijat Gatayeva, a Chechen activist, and her husband Malik Gatayev in the Helsinki region on Wednesday.

The arrest was made on the basis of a warrant issued the by Lithuanian authorities.

The Finnish public know Ms Gatayeva for her appearance in The 3 Rooms of Melancholia, an award-winning documentary by Pirjo Honkasalo about an orphanage run by the Gatayevs in war-torn Chechnya.

The Gatayevs have run orphanages for Chechen children in Lithuania as well.

The Finnish Society of the Defenders of Peace said in a statement that the Gatayevs would apply for asylum in Finland after suffering harassment at the hands of Lithuanian authorities.

Janne Pitkävirta, a district prosecutor, said the Helsinki district court would decide whether the Gatayevs would be handed over to the Lithuanians.