Human Rights Council: The law tightening rules on residence permits violates the rights of citizens

1 February 2013 

Source: (info
The bill proposed by Vladimir Putin on tightening the rules on residence permits flagrantly violates the constitutional right of citizens to move freely and choose their location and place of residence within Russia. 

These are the findings in a report by the Human Rights Council of the Russian President, published on 29 January. 

In their view, the law that has been submitted for consideration transforms the practice of giving notification of registration into the very opposite and conceals the real intention behind registration, which is simply to keep tabs on the population. 

The authors of the report strongly criticised a limitation on the number of registered persons per living area, as well as people having to register who are not close relatives of the owner, based only on a legal ruling, said

"Registration records cannot be authorisation-based, they must not lead to the infringement of the constitutional right of citizens to choose their location and place of residence, and they cannot be used as a means of controlling migration," they point out. 

The authors of the report also noted that the law contains no provisions for its implementation. 

In their view, the bill does not achieve its aims - even by violating the rights of citizens - because the shadow market in ‘bogus’ registrations and 'flimsy' homes can only be eradicated by limiting the number of documents required for registration. Adopting the bill will only lead to an upsurge in corruption, human rights defenders say. 

In early January, President Vladimir Putin proposed to the State Duma that criminal liability be introduced for breaking the rules on registering one’s location and place of residence. It is proposed that the bogus registration of Russian citizens, foreigners and stateless persons be punished by a fine of 100,000 to 500,000 roubles, forced labour, or imprisonment of up to three years. The punishment for a Russian citizen living in a flat without having registered will be a fine of a few thousand rubles.