The applicants in application no. 68377/17 are Mr A.S.N. and Mrs T.K.M., while the applicants in application no. 530/18 are Mr S.S.G., Mrs M.K.G., and Mrs D.K.G. The applicants are Afghan nationals who were born in 1977, 1982, 1974, 1982, and 1947 respectively and live in the Netherlands in Capelle aan den IJssel (A.S.N. and T.K.M.) and Emmen (S.S.G., M.K.G. and D.K.G.). All the applicants are Sikhs who used to live in Afghanistan.
The case concerned their complaint that they would face ill-treatment if removed back to that country.
A.S.N. and T.K.M. are a husband and wife who have also lodged their application on behalf of their two children, who are minors. The family applied for asylum in the Netherlands in October 2015, telling the Dutch authorities that they had left Afghanistan after T.K.M.’s sister had been kidnapped while on the way to the Gurdwara (Sikh temple) and that her brother had received a ransom demand signed by the Taliban and had then himself disappeared. The applicants had started receiving letters demanding to know where the brother was and threatening kidnap and murder if they did not reveal his location. The applicants came into contact with a man who arranged for them to travel abroad: before leaving T.K.M. and the children had stayed in their house all the time, which they had eventually sold to pay or their journey. They also alleged that they had been the target of general abuse and threats in Afghanistan because of their religion. The Dutch authorities rejected both an initial and a renewed asylum application by the applicants, decisions that were upheld in court.
The decisions found in particular that the applicants’ account of events lacked credibility, that they had failed to show that they had left Afghanistan only recently and that they had not made a plausible case for believing that they feared persecution.
The applicants in application no. 530/18 are a father, mother, two children and the children’s maternal grandmother. They applied for asylum in June 2014, telling the authorities that about eight months before leaving Kabul three people had forced their way into their home and that the grandmother’s husband had died as a result of being beaten. They had also suffered constant harassment because they were Sikhs. They had decided to leave Afghanistan and had made arrangements with an intermediary. The Dutch authorities rejected their initial and a renewed asylum application, expressing doubts in particular about whether they had only recently left Afghanistan, which meant in turn that no credence could be given to their account of events. The courts ultimately upheld the authorities’ decisions.
The applicants in both applications complained that their removal to Afghanistan would expose them to a real risk of treatment that would violate Article 3 (prohibition of torture and of inhuman or degrading treatment) or Article 2 (right to life) or both taken together.
No violation of Article 3 - in the event of the applicants’ removal to Afghanistan Interim measure (Rule 39 of the Rules of Court) - not to remove the applicants in application no. 530/18 - still in force until such time as the judgment becomes final or until further order.
*The Judgment refers to the following EASO Products:
According to the ECHR Press Release,
The case M.O. v. Switzerland concerned the complaint brought by an Eritrean asylum seeker that he would be at risk of ill-treatment if deported from Switzerland to his country of origin. He essentially claimed before the Swiss authorities that he was a deserter from military service and, following a period of imprisonment, had escaped and left Eritrea illegally. The authorities found that his asylum claim was not credible and ordered his removal.
In the Chamber judgment, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that:
there would be no violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture and of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights if the expulsion order against the applicant, Mr M.O, were implemented. The Court found in particular that, if Mr M.O. were removed to Eritrea, he would not be at risk as a result of the general human rights situation in the country. Furthermore, there were no substantial grounds to believe that his personal circumstances would expose him to a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment if removed.
The Swiss asylum authorities as well as the Federal Administrative Court, in thoroughly reasoned decisions, had found that Mr M.O. had failed to substantiate his claim; and it was not for the European Court to substitute its own assessment of the facts for that of the domestic courts, which are, as a general principle, best placed to assess the evidence.
According to HUDOC's press release,
In the case of N.D. and N.T. v. Spain (applications nos. 8675/15 and 8697/15) the European Court of Human Rights held:
The case concerned the immediate return to Morocco of two nationals of Mali and Côte d’Ivoire who on 13 August 2014 attempted to enter Spanish territory in an unauthorised manner by climbing the fences surrounding the Spanish enclave of Melilla on the North African coast. The Court considered that the applicants had in fact placed themselves in an unlawful situation when they had deliberately attempted to enter Spain on 13 August 2014 by crossing the Melilla border protection structures as part of a large group and at an unauthorised location, taking advantage of the group’s large numbers and using force. They had thus chosen not to use the legal procedures which existed in order to enter Spanish territory lawfully.
Consequently, the Court considered that the lack of individual removal decisions could be attributed to the fact that the applicants – assuming that they had wished to assert rights under the Convention – had not made use of the official entry procedures existing for that purpose, and that it had thus been a consequence of their own conduct. In so far as it had found that the lack of an individualised procedure for their removal had been the consequence of the applicants’ own conduct, the Court could not hold the respondent State responsible for the lack of a legal remedy in Melilla enabling them to challenge that removal.
In the Jugment, reference is also made to a practical tool developed by EASO together with Frontex and the FRA for the purpose of helping the first contact officers to determine whether there are indications that a person may wish to apply for international protection