New Russian Law Would Require Mandatory Fingerprinting For People With HIV
A new bill going through Russia's version of Congress will require mandatory fingerprinting for all people with HIV, according to reports on RT.com, and would create a national database of anyone with the virus.
State Duma deputy Roman Khudyakov of the Liberal Democratic party told reporters that the database would include people with "dangerous contagious diseases" and the rule would apply to both Russian citizens and foreigners visitors. According to RT, "several federal ministries and agencies, including the Federal Migration Service, Interior Ministry, Emergencies Ministry and Prosecutor General’s Office have already approved the draft."
Khudyakov told reporters that the new law is needed because some HIV-positive people "change their names and disappear from the state system… [but] fingerprinting would make it impossible." He insisted that the universal fingerprinting would some how make it easier to fight crime.
According to RT, the bill is part of a larger universal fingerprinting bill that would require every Russian resident to register and undergo fingerprinting or face fines of about $1,400 (for citizens) or deportation and a 15-year travel ban (for those who are not citizens).
While the bill has drawn some opposition, it appears as though it's likely it is to pass, in a country where there's been an alarming stigmatization of — and a wave of government sanctioned violence against — of gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women. This kind of move will likely further persecute those groups and all people with HIV regardless of gender or orientation.