St. Petersburg city court confirmed illegality of detention of stateless persons in the centers for foreign nationals

Deputy Chairman of the St. Petersburg city court Mikhail Pavlyuchenko has overruled an earlier decision by a district court, which had ordered detention of stateless persons S., V. and Zh. at the center for temporary detention of foreign nationals with further deportation from the Russian Federation. None of the three detainees could be proven to be a citizen of a particular state, thus it was impossible to deport them to any country. The judge acknowledged that detention of stateless persons in the centers for temporary detention of foreign nationals becomes de facto indefinite and therefore that the imprisonment of S., V. and Zh. was illegal.

Russia has not yet complied with the decision of the ECtHR in the case of “Kim v. Russia” and has not changed its laws to systematically solve the problem of indefinite and unreasonable detention of stateless persons “for the purpose of further expulsion”, therefore, as in many other cases, the judge only replaced the expulsion procedure of S., V. and Zh. with a “self-controlled exit” from the Russian Federation. But travel of people without valid documents abroad is as impossible as their expulsion from the country.

Similar court rulings on “self-controlled exit” are also made in cases of Ukrainian citizens, who fled from the areas of military conflict, but whose Ukrainian citizenship cannot be confirmed by Ukraine because it does not control parts of the territory of Lugansk and Donetsk regions, so these people de facto find themselves in the position of stateless persons.