ADC “Memorial” helped HIV-infected person to stay in Russia

05.12.2014
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Dzerzhinsky district court of Saint Petersburg made a positive ruling concerning appeal presented by ADC “Memorial” in the case of M., a HIV-infected Ukrainian citizen, whom Saint Petersburg regional department of the Federal Migration Service (FMS) of the Russian Federation had earlier ruled to deprive of permission for temporary stay in the country.

M. approached ADC “Memorial” with a request for legal assistance over a year ago after the Federal service for defense of customers’ rights had ruled that his stay in the Russian Federation was undesirable because of the HIV infection he had contracted. Back then ADC “Memorial” could not successfully defend his rights and get this decision over-ruled. Following that M. requested permission for temporary stay in Russia from the Federal Migration Service, but the latter responded negatively referring to the same grounds (that he was HIV-infected). In accordance with the federal law №115-FZ “On the legal situation of foreign nationals in the Russian Federation” (adopted on July 25, 2007), HIV infection is indeed considered a reason for refusal to issue temporary residence permission for foreign nationals, but in this particular case officials failed to take into account the circumstances, namely the grave health situation of M. (in 1999 he had part of his leg amputated following a serious car crash and since 2002 he had been officially recognized a disabled person of second category) and the fact that for a long time now he had been married to a woman, who is a Russian citizenship, and that he was in a state of medical remission, which means that he possessed no danger to other people.

Based on these facts and also taking into account the legal practice of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, as well as the European Court on Human Rights (in particular the ruling dated March 10, 2011 in the case of “Kiyutin vs. Russia”, which considered such actions against HIV-infected persons discriminatory, as well as “ineffective in terms of prevention of the spread of disease, but also potentially harmful for the state of health of citizens”), the lawyers of ADC “Memorial” together with lawyer Olga Tseitlina made a legal appeal to Dzerzhinsky district court of Saint Petersburg on October 30, 2014 asking to over-rule this decision by FMS and consider it illegal. On December 2, 2014 this appeal received positive ruling of the court and the earlier decision of FMS was over-ruled.