In September 2017, Mr. K., a citizen of Uzbekistan, was detained in St. Petersburg for not having identity documents with him. Police officers charged him with violation of Article 18.8 Section 2 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses for supposedly exceeding the period of stay in the territory of the Russian Federation. In court an unqualified interpreter translated K.’s verbal statement incorrectly, so it was not possible for the latter to explain that he had all the necessary documents. As a result K. was sentenced to a fine with further administrative expulsion from Russia and was placed into a temporary detention centre for foreign nationals.
Within a month this decision has been appealed by attorney Olga Tseitlina with the support of Anti-Discrimination Centre “Memorial”. The court of second instance has found violations in drafting of the protocol, it was also proven that K. had all the necessary documents to confirm the legality of his presence on the territory of the Russian Federation. It has also been confirmed that the court of first instance did not take into account the requirements of Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation regarding a comprehensive, full and objective investigation of all circumstances of the case. The court of second instance overruled the decision to expel K. from Russia and released him from temporary detention centre for foreign nationals.
K. has then applied for a work patent to continue his work in Russia, however, after having waited for five months, he has never received one. It turned out that on the same day the court of first instance had also issued another decision regarding supposed violation of Article 18.10 Section 2 of the Code of Administrative Offenses (illegal labor activity). K. did not know about this second court ruling, nor did he receive a copy of it, hence his lawyer could not make an appeal against him. This was not the first time when Russian courts made two different decisions on the same case regarding labor migrants without notifying them about this and without issuing copies of court rulings for them. Even if one of the court rulings is successfully appealed, the other one continues to be in effect, which threatens migrants with deportation from the country and imprisonment in temporary detention centres for foreign nationals.
Having found himself in an illegal position and fearing further conviction and placement in the temporary detention centre for foreign nationals, K. has decided to go to his native country without receiving any compensation for the funds he had spent on application for a work patent.
Thus, K., like many other migrants, has become a victim of both police and judicial arbitrariness. His life plans were destroyed, he lost a considerable amount of money and several months of time while anticipating to get a work patent. The practice of the Russian courts in issuing two different decisions on the same case without proper notification of the accused should be immediately abolished.