Russian law on driving licenses: a reader’s comment

We have received the following letter from a reader:

Dear Sir or Madam!

I write you from Moscow, Russia on your post about alleged Russian law banning transsexuals, fetishists and so on from driving a car.

Many Russian liberal media indeed report about this ban (some of them even went so far as to claim that women with too small breasts are banned from driving a car under this law), but a careful study of the document concerned shows  another picture at all.
Firstly, this isn’t law but a government regulation. Secondly, this regulation defines a number of psychical disorders (voyerism, fetishism, transvestism etc. included), vid. F60-F69 according to ICD-10, as medical obstacle to obtaining driving license but only in case they are severe and persistent or often exacerbated. Then, there is an official commentary to the federal law “On the psychiatric aid and guarantees of citizens’ rights in case of it’s providing” that defines severe disorders as such ones that “significantly decrease understanding of surrounding world and his or her own personality, distort perception of real happening and his or her own condition, affect behavior, prevent an adequate perception of reality”. One can full right to say somebody who have these severe disorders must not drive a car. It is obvious that fetishism, voyerism, transvestism and so on reach such a heaviness in very rare (if any) occasions. The government regulation concerned lists all disorders of personality and behavior according to ICD-10 in order of brevity, but this ban will not unjustly discriminate fetishists, voyerists, transvestites and so on.

You know that our country is a target of LGBT bias for a couple of years. I have no doubts in your sincerity (unlike sincerity of The Guardian’s staff) and kindly ask you to amend this mistake.

Unfortunately, I’m not sophisticated in English legal terminology so I could translate some Russian terms in not proper way.

The aforementioned government regulation and official commentary you may find here (in Russian language):

http://www.garant.ru/hotlaw/federal/592843/
http://psychoreanimatology.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?post_id=36599

Thank you for your very useful blog.

Sincerelly yours,
E.R.

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