Andrey Rylkov Foundation
for Health and Social Justice

Court sides with the HIV-positive citizen of Tajikistan against Rospotrebnadzor

Translation from Russian: Daria Mogucheva

We have already written about Fidravs’s case before – Firdavs is an HIV-positive citizen of Tajikistan who had been permanently residing in Russia until 2013, when he was forced to leave the country. The Rospotrebnadzor decided that his presence in Russia was undesirable due to his HIV status. This happened despite the fact that he has a wife and a daughter, who are both Russian citizens. Since these events, Firdavs has returned to Tajikistan, while his wife and daughter are forced to choose between staying in Russia, and the opportunity to live together with their husband and father. Vladimir Zwingli, lawyer from the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice (ARF), provides legal support to the family.

The Rospotrebnadzor decision was made in accordance with laws on “On the procedure of entry to and exit from the Russian Federation” and “On the prevention of the spread in the Russian Federation of the disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV infection)”, which state that foreign nationals who test positive for HIV shall be deported from Russia unconditionally. After Fidravs’s departure, the Constitutional Court declared these provisions partially unconstitutional, as they violate the right to have a family if and when their application entails the separation of family members — just like in Firdavs’s case.

Firdavs filed a petition to Rospotrebnadzor to cancel its decision that doesn’t allow him to come back to Russia. Nevertheless, Rospotrebnadzor refused to reconsider its decision.

A refusal was appealed before Tverskoy district court in Moscow with the legal help provided by ARF. The first hearing of the case took place on the 5th of October this year. During the hearing ARF representative asked the Court to declare the Rospotrebnadzor’s decision illegal and to revoke its preliminary resolution to consider Fidravs’s presence in Russia undesirable. Representatives of Rospotrebnadzor didn’t even consider attending the trial, and therefore the Judge sustained our claim which was a pleasant and unexpected surprise for us!

Although this is not the end of this story. Now we need to get the decision of the Court on paper (and from our experience with Tverskoy District Court it may take it months to issue the full text of the decision). After that we’ll have to wait until it goes into effect and seek its implementation, which means the revocation of Rospotrebnadzor’s decision that Fidravs’s presence is undesirable. There is also a risk that the Rospotrebnadzor will appeal the decision of the Court.  But we hope that this won’t happen. Even if it does happen, we still hope that Moscow City Court will uphold its decision. So we still have a lot of work to do!

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