Right for family life and protection against discrimination for HIV-positive foreigner confirmed by a Russian court for the first time

30.12.2013
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Tverskoy district court of Moscow has ruled in favor of the appeal against the earlier ruling by Rospotrebnadzor about undesirability of Mr. M.’s stay in the Russian Federation based on his health status of HIV-positive.

Mr. M, a citizen of Ukraine, has contacted ADC “Memorial” after Rospotrebnadzor, a state agency in charge of disease control, had ruled back in March 2013 that he was persona non grata in the Russian Federation based on his health status of HIV-positive. The claimant is married to a Russian citizen and at the time of the ruling of Rospotrebnadzor had lived in Russia together with his family. The ruling on deportation and further ban on entry to the Russian Federation were made in violation of a person’s right to family life, which is guaranteed by the Article 8 of the Convention on the defense of human rights and basic freedoms. ADC “Memorial” together with attorney Dmitry Bartenev has advised Mr.M. to make a legal appeal against the ruling of Rospotrebnadzor in court in order to defend his right as a claimant to receive protection against discrimination based on his health status. Earlier ADC “Memorial” has worked together with Dmitry Bartenev on a similar case of discrimination against a foreign citizen with AIDS, including an appeal to the Constitutional court of the Russian Federation and the European Court for Human Rights.

A legal appeal presented to the Tverskoy district court in Moscow (where Rospotrebnadzor is headquartered) by Mr. M. referred to the legal statement by the Constitutional court of the Russian Federation, which had stated that when the cases for deportation of HIV-infected foreign citizens were considered, law enforcement agencies should take into account the family status of foreign citizens, which had not been the case for Mr.M. Constitutional court of the Russian Federation had also confirmed its position in another similar case initiated together by ADC “Memorial” and attorney Dmitry Bartenev.

The legal appeal presented to the court has also referred to international legal practice, in particular the application of the Convention on the defense of human rights and basic freedoms in a similar case of “Kiyutin vs. Russian Federation” in the European Court for Human Rights, which had ruled in favor of the claimant and had referred to unacceptability of discrimination of a person based on his health status.

In December 2013 Tverskoy district court of Moscow has ruled in favor of the appeal presented by the lawyer and against the earlier ruling by Rospotrebnadzor about undesirability of Mr. M.’s stay in the Russian Federation. Thus, Russian national court system has ruled in favor of the principle of respect for a foreigner’s family life and effective legal protection against discrimination based on a person’s medical status.