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Author`s name Ольга Савка

European Court of Human Rights allowed complaint filed by the family of a retired Russian serviceman

The Court decided that Latvia should pay 5,000 euros in moral damages to each of 3 family members

The European Court of Human Rights allowed the complaint of the Sysoevs against Latvia whose authorities had refused to grant permanent residence permits to members of the above family. The European Court decided that Latvia should pay 5 thousand euros in moral damages to each of 3 family members. Meanwhile, the court found no violation of Article 34 of the Convention, the article entitles a plaintiff to seek protection in the European Court.

On May 19th this year the European court ruled that the Latvian authorities had violated Article 8 of the European Convention for Human Rights with regard to the Sysoevs.

The article guarantees a right of respect to a person's privacy and family life. Vitaly Portnov, representative of the plaintiff, said that the lawyers were happy about the decision. “The Sysoev family will hopefully get the legal status of permanent residents of Latvia if the decision comes into force,” said Mr. Portnov.

The parties may appeal the decision to Higher Chamber of the Strasbourg court within a 30-day period. The decision was posted on Thursday on the official web side of the European Court. Mr. Portnov believes that the Latvian party is likely to file an appeal.

“In this case we will file a complaint about the refusal to acknowledge violation of Article 34 of the Convention,” said he.

Arcady Sysoev arrived in Latvia in 1968 as a serviceman of the Soviet army. His wife Svetlana joined him a year later. Their daughters Tatyana and Oksana were born in Latvia. Following the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1992, only Tatyana was issued a permanent residence permit by the Latvian authorities. Tatyana had been married to a Latvian citizen by that time. The authorities refused to grant the status of non-citizens to the rest of the family and include them into the register of Latvia's residents because the Sysoevs failed to report their Russian registration while applying for the Latvian permanent residence permit. Only a person who is not registered in another country can qualify for the status of non-citizen of Latvia. In 2000 the authorities warned the Sysoevs that they might face deportation if they failed to register in Latvia. The Sysoevs filed a complaint to the Strasbourg. In the meantime, the spouses were already granted Russian citizenship.

Mr. Sysoev had been paid a Russian army pension until 1998. Therefore, the Latvian authorities reject the statement of Mr. Sysoev about Latvia being the only country suitable for a peaceful life of his family. The Latvians believe there are no obstacles whatsoever for  Sysoevs to live in Russia.

The Sysoevs stated in their claim that they had been continuously living in Latvia since 1969. They also stated that their registration in Russia was fictitious, it was a precaution against “prosecution of the former Soviet servicemen in Latvia” in the 1990s, Newsru wrote.

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