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Information on illegal neighbors will soon be paid

Alexander Kolesnichenko

The Russian State Duma is preparing a new bill “About the registration of citizens of the Russian Federation”. The registration procedure is promised to become easier and faster. And concerning persons, who are residing illegally and who are not willing to register, the Deputies plan to mobilize inhabitants of the bigger cities. They shall be offered a reward if they inform the police about unknown persons.

The bill “About the registration of citizens of the Russian Federation” will be introduced to the State Duma approximately at October 15th. It shall replace the existing law from 1993 with his symbolic title “About the freedom of residence”. Vladimir Pligin, president of the Duma Committee for legislation and state organization, promises that in the new bill there will be no restriction to the freedom of residence on the Russian territory for Russian citizens. The registration for a temporary stay will be arranged with a passport copy and not with the original, and the time period will be shortened from the present two or three days to some hours. To detect illegals the Deputy suggests paying a reward from the budget means to those citizens, who tell the police where illegals live or work. “It is time to step away from the term “stukach” (informer)”, declared Vladimir Pligin to the correspondent of “Novye izvestia”. According to the Deputy, a similar practice exists in all democratic countries, and to pay for information about illegals “is not the worst feature in our conditions. Then we would not have to proclaim a ten million dollar reward, but could pay money in a moderate amount”.

Last week the State Duma has already increased the fines for illegals and those who employ them or give them accommodation. (…) In Pligin’s opinion increasing the fines will force people to register themselves even when they are open for corruption, since higher fines will lead to higher bribes, too. And for a considerable part of the population this is money they cannot come up with. The illegals commented the increase of fines in their own way. In the forum of the illegals’ website (there is such a site in the All-Russian “spieder’s web”) Vladimir Pligin was already called ‘a man who is going to renew serfdom on Russia”.

Svetlana Gannushkina, leader of the movement “Grazhdanskoe sodeistviye” (Civil Help), says that the new bill, as it is worked out right now, does not allow fundamental contradictions in the registration system, as they exist in everyday practice. The problem is that according to the bill a citizen is registered at a concrete address, yet the police demand registration in a district or region. At that it is absolutely insignificant in which place a citizen lives. “The registration can only be controlled by a district policeman. And only if he regularly catches a non-registered person in my flat, he can punish me, too. Otherwise one has to say that registration has to take place in a district and, most important, you have to go to a certain office, to a certain window and say that you have arrived to the district”, said the human rights activist to “Novye izvestia”. The second contradiction of the existing legislation is to demand registration at a house or apartment only. If a person lives in a tent or in a hovel next to the dacha (summer house), he or she is, in Svetlana Ganushkina’s opinion, not obliged to registration at all. But the police regard such persons as infringers and punish them. A representative of the department of migration matters at the Moscow Central Administration Board of Internal Affairs confirmed to us that the person living in the hovel must be registered to the flat of the summerhouse’s owner, otherwise “this citizen would live beyond the law.”

According to Galina Novopashina, coordinator of the movement “Illegals of Moscow”, such a contradiction in law lead to the situation that “half of Moscow is registered at one place and lives in another”. And in her opinion this truly applies for 99% of the immigrants. Persons who rent apartments to immigrants don’t want to arrange for them a temporary registration to this address, because registration is associated with residence permit, and residence permit is associated with the fear that they can’t get rid of them anymore”. Galina Novopashina states that formally even those politicians infringer law who are registered in Moscow and live somewhere outside in a summerhouse. At the same time in the Western countries registration is usually just a phone call to the police to announce that a person will live with you for some time. In Vladimir Pligin’s opinion it is impossible to establish such a system in Russia. And from Svetlana Gannushkina’s point of view no bill will be able to make the passport departments work, as they are obliged to. “They do there everything to impede registration and if possible refuse”, states the human rights activist.

Source: Novye izvestia

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