Communicated cases against Lithuania ( 31821/20) and Russia (15160/19)

Friday, February 12, 2021
  • Communicated case against Lithuania

The case of L.B. v Lithuania (application no. 31821/20) concerns a Russian national who arrived in Lithuania in 2001 and claimed to have participated in the war in Chechnya. In 2003 he was granted a temporary residence permit on humanitarian grounds and, from 2004 to 2008, he received subsidiary protection on the grounds of indiscriminate violence in Chechnya. In 2008 he was granted a permanent residence permit in Lithuania.

Until 2018, L.B. received several foreigner’s travel documents. However, in 2018, the Migration Department refused to issue such document stating that L.B. could obtain it from the Russian authorities. The applicant unsuccessfully challenged the refusal, arguing, inter alia, that he would be required to disclose his identity and location to the Russian authorities, which would put him in danger because of his status as a former Chechen fighter. Nonetheless, the Lithuanian authorities rejected these arguments, as he was currently not a refugee and his subsidiary protection had previously been granted based on indiscriminate violence in Chechnya and not on individual reasons. 

The applicant complains that the refusal to issue him with a travel document, after he has been living in Lithuania for almost two decades breaches Article 8 ECHR. Additionally, referring to Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 ECHR, he complains that the restrictions of his freedom of movement are unjustified. Lastly, he complains, under Articles 3 and 13 ECHR, that turning to the Russian authorities would expose him to a risk of persecution and that the Lithuanian authorities failed to properly assess his arguments regarding that risk.

Therefore, the European Court of Human Rights asks the Parties, inter alia, whether the refusal to issue L.B. with a travel document constitutes an interference with his right to respect for private life (Article 8 ECHR) and, if so, whether that interference was in line with the requirements of Article 8(2) ECHR and, particularly, with the requirement of considering the reasons for his protection status in Lithuania.

  • Communicated case against Russia

The case of Matmusayev and Abdurasulova v Russia (application no. 15160/19) concerns a Tajikistani and a Russian national, who have two daughters with Russian nationality, and who registered their marriage in Russia in 2009. The first applicant resided in Russia based on a bilateral Tajikistani-Russian visa-free agreement authorising a visa-free stay in Russia for 90 days out of 180 days. 

In 2018, Matmusayev did not apply for a temporary residence permit and, therefore, lived unlawfully in Russia.  On 6 December 2018, he was detained for, inter alia, living in Russia without a valid residence permit or non-compliance with the established procedure for residence registration. On the same day, and without having examined his arguments concerning his family life in Russia, a Russian court ordered, inter alia, his administrative removal from Russia and imposed him with a five-year re-entry ban. He did not appeal against the decision.

On 25 January 2019 the first applicant was, again, found guilty of living in Russia without a valid residence permit and of failing to comply with the decision of 6 December 2018. The applicant explained that he was precluded from leaving Russia because of his family situation; he was the family’s breadwinner and his departure, followed by the five-year re-entry ban, would disrupt his family life. The court did not analyse the applicant’s arguments, ordered his removal from Russia and placed him in detention pending removal. The applicant unsuccessfully appealed against the decision at the Regional Court. On an unspecified date in February 2019 the applicant was subjected to administrative removal from Russia.

The applicants complain under Article 8 ECHR that the decision to remove the first applicant and the subsequent five-year re-entry ban constitute a disproportionate punishment for the administrative offence committed by him. Furthermore, they claim that the domestic courts failed to examine their submissions concerning the adverse effect of the first applicant’s expulsion on their family life.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.                               

Assessment of facts and circumstances
Family unity (right to)
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment