Court: impossibility to leave country for a stateless person is not a crime

04.04.2015
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Ilgar A., a stateless person, who had left the country of his origin as a child and since then had lived in Russia, was arrested for violation of immigration regulations on February 2, 2015. He had been arrested before and spent 10 months in a detention centre for foreign nationals for violation of Section 3, Article 18.8 of the Code on administrative violations, but had been released later because his attorney was able to get him a possibility of unaided controlled exit from the country instead of deportation with a prior placement into detention centre. Leaving the country, however, was impossible, since as a stateless person with no documents Ilgar A. couldn’t leave Russia for any other country. After two months he was arrested by the police again and charged with violation of Section 3, Article 20.5 of the Code on administrative violations (digression from penalty for administrative violation).

After considering the case, the judge of Kirovsky district court of Saint Petersburg V.Vetsky ruled that there was not enough proof of guilt of Ilgar A. presented by the prosecutors. According to the judge, “the court hadn’t received solid proof that Ilgar A. had been a citizen of Azerbaijan or any other state or else a stateless person”. Judge ruled that: “Currently his citizenship in any state is not proven, while at the same time he had not been informed about the mechanism and deadline for implementation of an earlier court ruling concerning unaided controlled exit from the Russian Federation. Based on that the court ruled to stop consideration of his case, because the elements of violation of Section 3, Article 20.5 of the Code on administrative violations had not been detected in the actions of Ilgar A.”

This is a small victory regarding the situation of stateless persons in Russia, because the court procedures ended without placement of a stateless person into detention centre for foreign nationals for violation of Section 3, Article 20.5 of the Code on administrative violations. The next step should be issuing proper identification documents for Ilgar A. as well as other stateless persons.