Russian Federation

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Russia: Government to examine possibility of removing HIV-specific criminal law and broadening prosecutions to all serious communicable diseases under general ‘bodily harm’ laws

28 Feb 2017
The Russian government is considering removing Article 122 (Infection with Human Immuno-deficiency Virus) from the Criminal Code, according to an article published earlier this month on the RBC website. Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets has instructed a number of ministries … More

Analysis: How is Russia’s HIV-specific law being used to prosecute women living with HIV?

04 Aug 2016
(For Russian version, please, scroll down) At the beginning of 2016, a military officer from Moscow discovered that he was HIV-positive during routine testing. Later, his wife Natalia, who had tested positive for HIV several years ago, admitted that she had been … More

HIV Justice Network presents important new HIV criminalisation data today at AIDS 2016

21 Jul 2016
Today, at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, the HIV Justice Network and GNP+ will present important new data on HIV criminalisation based on updated research from our Advancing HIV Justice 2 report. Global Trends in HIV Criminalisation (Download the … More

Advocates fighting to end HIV criminalisation reach a global TV/web audience on The Stream

28 Jun 2016
Last night, HIV criminalisation advocacy reached a global audience on both TV and the internet with The Stream, on Al Jazeera English. During the 30 minute programme, HIV criminalisation survivor, and Sero advisory board member, Ken Pinkela appeared with co-hosts … More

EATG seeks to ensure that Europe-wide standards of up-to-date scientific evidence limit overly broad HIV criminalisation

28 Oct 2013
EATG’s new position paper on prosecutions for HIV non-disclosure, exposure and/or transmission published last week recommends that the criminal law should only be used in extremely rare and unusual cases where HIV is maliciously and intentionally transmitted and that Europe-wide … More

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Country overview

The Russian Federation has an HIV-specific law as of 1996 and the Article 122 of the Criminal Code that criminalises both HIV exposure and transmission. Informed consent of the risk following disclosure of an individual’s HIV-positive status is an affirmative defence. The maximum sentence for “deliberately putting another person at risk of HIV infection” is freedom limitation for up to three years, or imprisonment for up to one year. The maximum sentence for “HIV infection of a person by a person aware they are HIV-infected” is five years in prison. There are no data on the number of prosecutions or convictions.

Specific laws

Specific law enacted Yes

Specific law criminalising HIV non disclosure, exposure, or transmission: Yes

Prosecuted using non-HIV specific laws: No

Prosecuted using both specific and non specific laws: No

Is non-disclosure actionable: No

Is exposure actionable: No

Is transmission actionable: No

Prosecutions

Number of prosecutions 115

Advancing HIV Justice 2: Analysis of recent prosecutions covers a 30-month period: April 2013 to October 2015: Russia: at least 115 cases

Laws

Applicable laws

Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

Article 122. HIV transmission

This is an HIV-specific law.
Both exposure and transmission are subject to prosecution.
Sentences range from  through to 10 years imprisonment.

Applicable key wording

A english translation of the law is:

Article 122. HIV transmission

1. Knowingly placing another person in danger of HIV infection -

shall be punished by restriction of freedom for up to three years, or community service for up to one year, or imprisonment for up to six months, or imprisonment for up to one year.

2. Infection of another person with HIV by a person who knew that he had the disease -

shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

3. The action envisaged in part two of this article, committed against two or more persons, or against a minor -

shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding eight years, with disqualification to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for up to ten years or without it.

4. Infection of another person with HIV as a result of improper performance of professional duties -

shall be punished with community service for a term not exceeding five years, with disqualification to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for up to three years or without it, or imprisonment for up to five years, with disqualification to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for up to three years.

Note. A person who commits an act stipulated by the first or second paragraph of this Article shall be exempt from criminal liability if the other person set out in the risk of infection or infected with HIV, was a timely warned of the presence of the first of the disease and voluntarily agreed to carry out actions that created the risk of infection transmission.

In Russian:

Статья 122. Заражение ВИЧ-инфекцией

1. Заведомое поставление другого лица в опасность заражения ВИЧ-инфекцией -

наказывается ограничением свободы на срок до трех лет, либо принудительными работами на срок до одного года, либо арестом на срок до шести месяцев, либо лишением свободы на срок до одного года.

2. Заражение другого лица ВИЧ-инфекцией лицом, знавшим о наличии у него этой болезни, -

наказывается лишением свободы на срок до пяти лет.

3. Деяние, предусмотренное частью второй настоящей статьи, совершенное в отношении двух или более лиц либо в отношении несовершеннолетнего, -

наказывается лишением свободы на срок до восьми лет с лишением права занимать определенные должности или заниматься определенной деятельностью на срок до десяти лет либо без такового.

4. Заражение другого лица ВИЧ-инфекцией вследствие ненадлежащего исполнения лицом своих профессиональных обязанностей -

наказывается принудительными работами на срок до пяти лет с лишением права занимать определенные должности или заниматься определенной деятельностью на срок до трех лет или без такового либо лишением свободы на срок до пяти лет с лишением права занимать определенные должности или заниматься определенной деятельностью на срок до трех лет.

Примечание. Лицо, совершившее деяния, предусмотренные частями первой или второй настоящей статьи, освобождается от уголовной ответственности в случае, если другое лицо, поставленное в опасность заражения либо зараженное ВИЧ-инфекцией, было своевременно предупреждено о наличии у первого этой болезни и добровольно согласилось совершить действия, создавшие опасность заражения.

Discussion

In 2017, there was discussion of the Russian government reviewing article 122 and given a deadline of October 1, 2017.

Cases

Overview

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has no disaggregation for data on Art. 122 (HIV exposure and transmission) and Art. 121 (STI exposure and transmission).
2013
Sentenced 51, from them 21 imprisoned ( up to one year - 5 people, from 1 to 2 years - 5 people, from 2 to 3 years - 4 people, from 3 to 5 years - 6 people, from 5 to 8 years - 1 person, from 8 to 10 years - 0 persons). Suspended sentence - 17 people, limitation of freedom - 12 people. Acquitted - 0 people. The case was stopped on other grounds - 12, fine - 1.
2014
Sentenced 41, from them 21 imprisoned (up to one year - 5 people, from 1 to 2 years - 9 people, from 2 to 3 years - 3 people, from 3 до 5 лет - 3 people  от 5 до 8 лет - 1 person, from 8 to 10 years - 0 persons). 
Suspended sentence - 11 people, limitation of freedom - 9 people. Acquitted - 0 people. The case was stopped on other grounds - 19, additional punishment (right to take particular posts and engage with certain activities) - 1.
2015
Sentenced 23, 
from them 10 imprisoned (up to one year - 6 people, from 1 to 2 years - 0 people, from 2 to 3 years - 3 people, from 3 to 5 years - 1 people, from 5 to 8 years - 0 people, from 8 to 10 years - 0 people). Suspended sentence - 8 people, limitation of freedom - 4 people. Acquitted - 0 people. The case was stopped on other grounds  4, fine  - 1.

To date, HIV Justice Network has documented 54 cases in Russia based on the media reports. The last resported conviction was in October 2016

1.     First documented in April 2007

2.     Between 2007 and 2012, there were XX prosecutions reported in the media.

3.     Between 2012 and 2016, media reports featured XX prosecutions.

-       There have been known 13 prosecutions of women living with HIV, maximum sentences were 4 and 4,5 year imprisonment

-       Prosecutions for sex between man gean (all known prosecutions were heterosexual sex –related, except for one).

-       11 prosecutions for HIV exposure known.

-       44 prosecutions for HIV transmission known.

-       2 cases of biting known, one of the man who bit a police officer received 2 year 8 month term in prison.

-      In most of the prosecutions, medical records were used as evidence in courts.


Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017