On May 4, 2020 the Russian Civil Society Mechanism for Monitoring of Drug Policy Reforms, with technical assistance of the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice, Eurasian Harm Reduction Association and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network submitted a report on Russia for the adoption of List of Issues to the State in relation to the review of the 8th Periodic Report of the Russian Federation during the 129 Session of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
In Russia’s highly punitive and stigmatizing environment, law enforcement agencies have a virtual carte blanche to discriminate against people who use drugs. The information provided in the report shows how such heavy-handed drug policies and drug enforcement drive violations of Articles 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, 19, and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The proposed questions for the List of Issues:
- How does the State Party ensures the principle of legal certainty when prosecuting people for handling so- called derivatives?
- How does the State Party ensure the right to a fair trial with respect to drug-related charges?
- What measures do Russian authorities undertake to reduce risk of COVID-19 infections in prisons?
- What drug treatment options are available for people in custodial settings in Russia, especially taking into account the number of prisoners incarcerated for drug crimes?
- How does the State Party protect people with drug dependence from arbitrary arrest and detention on discriminatory grounds?
- What measures has the State Party undertaken to protect people with drug dependence from ill treatment in police custody, especially taking into account the continuous enforcement by the state party of a legal ban on evidence based treatment such as opioid substitution therapy?
- What measures does the State Party employ to address the special vulnerability of women living with drug dependence to gender-based discrimination in the enjoyment of civil and political rights?
- How does the State Party ensure equal protection and non-discrimination with respect to people who use drugs?
- How does the State Party ensure the right to freedom of expression and the right to access scientific and human rights information in the context of anti-drug propaganda restrictions?