8 October 2015

A report written by the Anti-Discrimination Centre Memorial (ADC Memorial) has called attention to foreign national detention centres in Russia and the authorities’ failure to comply with rulings from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on the protection of migrant rights.

With the current Russian law requiring foreign nationals to obtain all their residence and work permits within 30 days of their arrival on the Russian territory, many migrants are unable to meet this deadline due to administrative difficulties and are thus at risk of being arrested and detained. This process can particularly affect stateless persons. The inability to produce any citizenship documentation, or to obtain citizenship documentation, means that even after being held in detention, they will remain in violation of the migration regime and at risk of being detained again.

In a ECtHR case, in 2014, the conditions of the detention centres were found to be inhuman and degrading, due to overcrowding, meagre food, a lack of access to drinking water and a ban on the use of mobile phones. The ADC Memorial report therefore calls for Russian authorities to take urgent action to improve the detention conditions in foreign national detention centres. Furthermore, the report argues for reducing the maximum period of detention and creating a procedural ability to release a detained person if it is not possible to expel them from the country (as would be the case with stateless persons) by issuing them with documents that would allow them to remain in Russia legally, such as by granting a residence permit or temporary asylum.

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This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 9 October 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.