Why does the MIA remove and destroy citizens’ internal passports?


When Ukrainians leave the country to live abroad permanently, they do not lose their citizenship. Yet according to an instruction from the Ministry of Internal Affairs from 21.12.2004, their internal passport (i.e. identity document) is taken away and destroyed.

Once the physical document has been destroyed, it cannot be reinstated.  And when a person begins the procedure to get a new one, all kinds of conditions are imposed, such as registration in Ukraine.  This is despite the fact that the Law “On freedom of movement and free choice of place of residence in Ukraine”, clearly states that “Registration of place where a person is temporarily or place of residence cannot be the condition for enjoying the rights and freedoms set out in the Constitution, laws and international agreements, or grounds for their limitation.”

Anatoly Klyepikov left to live abroad and his internal passport was removed and destroyed. Yet when he came to Ukraine again, he was not allowed to receive this most important document which is an infringement of his human rights.

An appeal to the MIA management asking for an explanation as to which Ukrainian law envisages the removal of a citizen’s internal passport has not had any result. Officials from the Ministry could not provide any explanation, and yet they refuse to issue the passports. By so doing they infringe the “Provisions on a Ukrainian national’s internal passport” where it is stated that “The removal of a citizen’s passport is prohibited except in cases envisaged by Ukrainian legislation”. The MIA order cannot contravene a legislative act.

There is only one way of reinstating ones rights, this being to approach the administrative court demanding that the unlawful orders issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs be revoked.  The court hearing is scheduled for 10 March, and we will be reporting on its outcome.

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