ADC “Memorial” requested urgent intervention of the ECHR on behalf of imprisoned stateless person in dire state of health

Vephviya Sordia, a stateless person and native of Georgia, have been imprisoned in the detention center for foreign nationals in Krasnoye Selo (Leningrad region) for more than 10 months awaiting deportation from Russia for breach of immigration regulations (he had been found guilty of breaking immigration regulations based on his stateless status), although it is clear that stateless persons cannot be expelled to any other country. On August 16, 2016 the city court of St. Petersburg dismissed the appeal made by the lawyer of ADC “Memorial” without taking into account any arguments of the defense neither about the impracticability of the earlier ruling by a district court on expulsion Sordia nor his state of health. The decision of the city court stated that “the fact of the V.M. Sordia has a disease cannot be the ground for overruling the administrative expulsion ordered by the judge of the district court”.

During his imprisonment the health of Mr.Sordia has deteriorated sharply: the chronic diseases he suffers from were severely exacerbated and he is also suffering from strong physical pain. An ambulance had to be called to drive Mr. Sordia to city hospital No.15; however, he was not admitted into the hospital and medical care was not provided to him, instead the doctors recommended “observation and treatment at the place of residence”. Obviously, a “place of residence” such as the detention center for foreign nationals, where Mr. Sordia is kept, could not provide the medical care he needs: there is no qualified medical personnel there, nor is there special food, and the conditions of detention in the center had been earlier recognized by the European Court as inhumane and in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention (ruling on the case of “Kim v. Russia” back in of 2014).

Gaps in Russian legislation do not allow stateless persons to be released from the detention centers for foreign nationals nor to receive documents for legal residence in the Russian Federation. These issues have already been raised in the case of “Kim v. Russia”, which had been won by the lawyers of ADC “Memorial” at the ECHR, but the general measures ordered by the court concerning systematic changes of the situation of stateless persons had not been adopted by the Russian authorities.

This situation, which contains serious risks for the health of Mr. Sordia is a direct consequence of ignoring the earlier ruling of the ECHR in the case of “Kim v. Russia”. The lawyer who represents the interests of Mr. Sordia on behalf of ADC “Memorial” filed a complaint with the ECHR and asked to apply Rule 39 requesting urgent medical assistance to MR. Sordia, as well as Rule 41 asking to prioritize consideration of the complaint on behalf of M. Sordia.