Two stateless persons freed from detention center

Due to the legal assistance provided by lawyer Yury Serov and ADC “Memorial” on April 3, 2017 two stateless persons were freed from the temporary detention center in Krasnoye Selo (Leningrad region) following the ruling of the St.Petresburg city court. One of them, a native of Tadjikistan, spent 11 months in detention, the other, a native of Georgia, 10 months. Both of them had been detained for violation of the rules of stay of foreign nationals in the Russian Federation, because they hadn’t had identity documents, which verified their identity and status in the country.

Courts of first instance when considering their cases had ruled (based on Article 18.8 Section 3 of the Russian Code of administrative violations) that these stateless persons had been guilty and ordered their expulsion from the Russian Federation with prior placement into temporary detention center for foreign nationals. Consulates of Tadjikistan and Georgia in Russia could not verify that these people had citizenships of these respective countries, that is why expulsion from the Russian Federation was not practicable and thus their detention in the temporary detention center for foreign nationals had become deprivation of freedom for an indefinite period of time without a practical aim.

Judge M. Pavlyuchenko of the St. Petersburg city court has ruled to free both detainees. However, due to the loopholes in the Russian legislation it is impossible to completely terminate the deportation procedure from Russia and thus it was replaced by “self-controlled departure from the Russian Federation”.

On May 18, 2017 the Russian Constitutional Court has also considered the case of Noe Mskhiladze, detainee of the St. Petersburg temporary center fort foreign nationals, who could not be deported because he was a stateless person. It is expected that the ruling of the Constitutional Court in his case could help resolve the problem of stateless persons in Russia, who stay in detention centers for foreign nationals for months and even years solely because they don’t have citizenship of any country.