MOSCOW, March 15 (RAPSI) – The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Russia violated rights of a group of HIV-positive foreigners by deporting them, according to the court’s ruling made available on Tuesday.

The court found that deportation of five HIV-positive foreigners, who are the applicants in the case, based on their health status alone was a discriminatory act and therefore a violation of the Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention of Human Rights. Additionally the court held that there was a violation of Article 8 (right to private life and family) of the Convention because all five applicants had familial connections in Russia at the moment of their deportation.

Although the court acknowledged that rights to enter and settle in a particular country are not regulated by the Convention, it maintained that country’s immigration policies should not be discriminatory and should respect the human rights of foreigners who want to enter the country. The ECHR did not find a good reason for Russia to deport applicants and extensively criticized a ruling of a Russian court which said that an HIV-positive applicant was dangerous because he could transmit HIV by utilizing shared dormitory facilities in a hostel.

The ECHR did not present Russia with any specific suggestions and measures regarding the problem, acknowledging Russia’s ongoing legislative reform in effort to help HIV-positive non-nationals with family ties in the country.

The court ordered Russia to pay in total € 15,000 to the applicants.