European Court of Human Rights declares asylum seeker’s case against return to Afghanistan inadmissible
On 9 July, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on an application brought against Finland concerning the return of an asylum seeker to Afghanistan.
The applicant had applied for international protection in Finland against return to Afghanistan three times: in 2015, 2018 and 2019. The Finnish Immigration Service had rejected his application for asylum and a residence permit. The Administrative Court, in turn, had rejected his appeals. The applicant's continued appeal concerning the first asylum application had lapsed after he himself had withdrawn his request for leave to appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court. The applicant's second and third request for leave to appeal had been rejected by the court.
The applicant had lodged an application with the European Court of Human Rights, alleging that returning him to Afghanistan would violate Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to life) as well as its Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment), Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) and Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) taken in conjunction with Article 3. The ECHR had indicated to Finland an interim measure according to which the applicant could not be returned until the ECHR had ruled on his case. The ECHR had lifted the interim measure on 29 May 2020.
In its decision of 9 July 2020, the European Court of Human Rights considered that the application was manifestly ill-founded, and declared it inadmissible. According to the ECHR, there are no substantial grounds for believing that the applicant would be exposed to a real risk of being subjected to treatment contrary to Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights if expelled to Afghanistan in the current circumstances. As to the complaints under Article 13 and Article 14 taken in conjunction with Article 3, the ECHR considered that the applicant had failed to exhaust the effective domestic remedies.
Inquiries: Päivi Rotola-Pukkila, Legal Counsellor, Unit for Human Rights Courts and Conventions, tel. +358 295 351 922.
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