Ukrainian citizen expelled to the zone of military conflict, despite recognition of expulsion as illegal

09.11.2018
This post is also available in: Russian

On October 26, 2018 St. Petersburg city court overruled the earlier decision by the Kolpino district court, according to which K., a native of the Donetsk region of Ukraine, had been expelled to the zone of military conflict. The city court has also found the expulsion itself to be inappropriate to the purposes and principles of the sentence, as well as to be in violation of international legal acts, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

In December 2017, K., who had fled from the war in Ukraine, was found guilty of violating the immigration legislation of the Russian Federation and had been sentenced to a fine and expulsion from the country. As an interim measure for the expulsion, the court also ruled to place K. into temporary detention centre for foreign nationals, where he then spent over 8 months. In August 2018 K. was forcibly expelled to the Donetsk region, where hostilities are currently underway, although the court had every reason to believe that expulsion could cost K. his life.

Lawyer Olga Tseitlina in cooperation with the Anti-Discrimination Centre “Memorial” appealed this court ruling. St.Petersburg city court then sided with K. and agreed with the position of the lawyer that when making the court decision of the first instance “the court did not take into account the events occurring in Ukraine”, which could cause a real threat to the life and health of K.

When adopting its decision on this case, the city court took into account the priority of international legal norms prohibiting expulsion of people, who may be at risk of torture and inhuman treatment, referring to Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 3 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, as well as Article 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

The court also took into account the resolution of the government of the Russian Federation №690 adopted on July 22, 2014, which granted the right to accelerate the provision of temporary asylum to citizens permanently residing in the territory of Ukraine.

Today K., despite the cancellation of the decision to expel him from Russia, resides on the territory of the Donetsk region, in a zone of military conflict, where he is in danger. Given this, ADC “Memorial” will seek further restoration of his violated rights. The immigration rules, due to which peaceful people who fled from the war, are subject to fines, imprisonment as “illegal migrants” and expulsion from the country should be abolished.