More frightening news coming out of Russia. The drafting of a new bill proposes that HIV positive patients, as well as those with other dangerous diseases be required to submit to fingerprinting, which would then be contributed to and stored in a national database.
This stigmatizing new bill would not only be applied to Russian citizens either. Planning on visiting or traveling through Russia? If you have any disease Russia considers 'dangerous', you can expect to have your fingerprints taken and added to the database as well. So why exactly does Russia feel such a bill is even necessary in first place? State Duma deputy Roman Khudyakov of the Liberal Democratic party gave some insight.
"The politician explained he came up with the idea because sometimes infected people change their names and disappear from the state system. Khudyakov says fingerprinting would make it impossible. In addition, universal fingerprinting would make it easier to fight crime, reduce the amount of bureaucratic red tape, and solve many social problems where quick identification is often required".
He also explained it necessary because some HIV patients try to change their names and disappear from the system altogether. If this bill does pass, punishment for refusing the fingerprinting process and database entry aren't light, nor cheap.
"The current bill suggests those who refuse can be punished with 50,000 ruble fines (about $1400) and non-citizens could be deported, and banned from entering Russia for 15-years".
They don't play. Of course, the bill has been met with some opposition. Its extremely stigmatizing of a group already facing large amounts of discrimination, with things such as Russia's 'anti-gay' laws, as well as the county's continued refusal to implement harm reduction practices to help curb the spread of diseases amongst IV drug users.
Originally appeared on Studio L Online