According to ELENA weekly update:
"The 10th Appeals Committee issued a decision overturning a decision of the Greek Asylum Service and recognising an Afghan asylum applicant as a refugee. The applicant, an Afghan national of Hazara ethnicity, applied for asylum in Greece in 2019. In his asylum application, he claimed that he left Afghanistan inter alia because he was not feeling safe due to the violence that prevails in the country, in combination with his ethnicity and religion (Shiite Muslim). He had not been a victim of a violent attack but he made a reference to a relative being killed during a protest. His fear was compounded by the absence of a supportive network in Afghanistan, as all his family resides in Iran. The asylum authority rejected the application as unfounded.
On appeal, the Committee examined the long-standing discrimination and violence that Hazara minorities have faced in Afghanistan. Referring to the UNHCR Guidelines, as well as EASO Country of Origin guidance and queries, the Committee noted that discrimination and risk of violence continue to affect the Hazara community in the country. Members of the Shiite Hazara community have been the target of several recent suicide attacks, while issues with access to the labour market have contributed to a general situation of marginalization.
The Committee also considered the recent developments in the country, including the increasing violence in 2020 and the barriers in accessing health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the volatile situation following the establishment of the Taliban regime, as described by UNHCR in August 2021, is characterised by significant security issues and gaps in human rights protection. In this context, members of religious minorities, in particular Shia Muslims and Hazaras, are in greater danger. Consequently, the applicant has a well-founded fear of persecution due to the danger he will be facing in a Taliban-ruled country. Moreover, as the Taliban authorities now control the country, any analysis on potential relocation is not necessary."
According to the summary provided in the ELENA Weekly Legal Update of 15 October 2021:
"The case concerned a Syrian national who claimed asylum with his wife and child in 2018 after fleeing compulsory military conscription and the dangerous security situation in Syria. The applicant and his wife were cousins and married when they were refugees in Lebanon, at the request of her father who worried for her safety and the risk of rape that many of the unmarried girls in the camp faced. Although the authorities determined that avoidance of military conscription would constitute a well-founded fear of persecution as required in Article 1A of the Refugee Convention, they concluded that Article 1F excluded the applicant from protection under the Convention because of his marriage and sexual relationship with his wife when she was a minor which constituted a serious non-political crime.
Firstly, the Council emphasised that assessments for international protection must be made on an individual basis and that relevant authorities cannot use doubts about aspects of a case to exonerate them from verifying the fear of persecution or real risk of serious harm. Moreover, the Council confirmed that the credible statements and evidence provided by the applicant demonstrated a well-founded fear of persecution in his country of origin. The Council went on to analyse the statements from both the husband and wife in their personal interviews and deduced that their situation was not a forced marriage but rather a marriage arranged by the parents resulting from the specific situation both families were in. The Council therefore declared that is was unreasonable to determine a crime on the applicant who was a minor at the time himself. In regards to the sexual relationship between the couple, the Council determined that if there was a pressure on the applicant’s wife to engage in their sexual relations this came from her own family and not the applicant. It elaborated that often in Arab culture, newly married couples are expected to start their own family quickly and that delay in this can result in shame for the wife’s family as people could suspect she was not a virgin before the marriage.
The Council finalised by noting that the applicant and his wife were still married, lived together and raised their child together and that Article 1F is an exceptional provision with serious implications, and so should be applied with utmost caution. In light of this, the Council held that the applicant does not fall within the scope of Article 1F and due to the fact that his identity and nationality are not disputed and it has already been established that he has a well-founded fear of persecution in the event of return to Syria, he must be recognised as a refugee in accordance with Article 1A of the Refugee Convention and Article 48(3) of the Law on Aliens."
The author who submitted the communication before the CRPD, Z.H., is an Afghan national (Hazara Shia ethnic) whose request for international protection in Sweden was rejected. The Swedish Migration Agency rejected his request and noted that the applicant could receive psychiatric treatment and medication in Kabul. Before the national authorities, the applicant presented a medical report concerning a PTSD diagnosis, psychotic mental health problems and suicide risk due to the death threats received in Afghanistan, where he was considered responsible for the death of a member of a powerful family.
Before the CRPD, he claimed that his deportation to Afghanistan would constitute a violation of his rights under Articles 10 and 15 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The CRPD held, on the basis of healthcare reports on Afghanistan, that there was a lack of resources, trained professionals and infrastructure to adequately care for mental health. It further noted that in the individual case of the applicant, Sweden should have required individual assurances as the applicant had left Afghanistan at a young age and could face difficulties in accessing healthcare services. The CRPD concluded that that the applicant’s removal to Afghanistan would, if implemented, violate his rights under Article 15 of the Convention.
X, Eritrean national, was rejected asylum and contested the negative decision before the Council for Aliens. The CALL rejected the appeal and found that the applicant’s statements were not credible on many accounts. First, the applicant gave contradictory information in Italy, Norway and Belgium with regard to his personal data (birth date, identity documents), his experience and living conditions in Eritrea alongside with information on the moment he left Eritrea, travel route and the alleged illegal exit.
The CALL reiterated the importance of the duty of cooperation which means that it is in principle for the applicant for international protection to submit as soon as possible all the necessary elements to substantiate his application because the applicant is essentially the only party able to provide information on his personal circumstances. Only then, if the information provided by the applicant si not complete, the authorities conduct an investigation and cooperate with the applicant in order to gather all the elements capable of substantiating the application, including up to date country of origin information. The next stage includes the legal assessment of the data gathered by the investigating authorities in order to decide whether legal conditions are met, and international protection can be granted.
In the present case, the CALL noted that the applicant failed to provide credible information and documentation to sustain his claims on illegal exit and military desertion. Moreover, the CALL concluded that it does result neither from the country of origin information nor from the documents attached to the application that Eritreans who legally left the country would face prosecution upon return.
The applicant, a Russian national of Chechen origin, was provided with international protection in December 2009 due to well-founded fears of persecution at the hands of the Russian authorities and imputed political opinions. In July 2016, he had his refugee status terminated by the OFPRA on the grounds that in view of the clear and precise information available to it concerning his involvement in the Chechen jihadist movement, there were serious reasons for considering that his presence in France constituted a serious threat to the security of the state.
The CNDA rejected the request for a review, considering that the request must necessarily invoke, in order to be admissible, a fact or element liable to call into question the assessment according to which the person concerned would represent a serious threat to the security of the state.
The application for international protection of a national of Iraq was rejected by the Directorate of Immigration with a decision not to consider the application in Iceland and to expel him from the country, on grounds that he was already a beneficiary of protection in Greece. The applicant appealed the decision on grounds that he suffered from serious mental and physical illness as a result of events which he had experienced in his home country and that he would not receive the necessary support and access to health care in Greece. He stated he was expelled from Greece as he was homeless and was not able to find employment. The applicant argued that the Directorate of Immigration did not make an accurate assessment of the situation in Greece and of his vulnerability and provided numerous sources to show the actual situation.
The Immigration Appeals Board considered a number of reports and sources with regards to the situation in Greece, and it noted that during the process of renewal of the residence permit many applicants find themselves in a situation where they have limited access to social assistance, health care and the labour market. Additionally, there are difficulties in accessing medical care due as well to the pressure on the Greek health system due to Covid-19.
In the present case, the applicant is paralyzed below the waist and confined to a wheelchair. The applicant uses a urethra and needs a urine bag. His residence permit had expired in Greece, and he had been granted supplementary protection which he still enjoys. This however counts as an interruption of the applicant’s stay in Greece and would not allow him to demonstrate a seven-year continuous stay, which is necessary to apply for a long-term residence permit. He may therefore experience delays in his access to the services and resources he needs.
The Board noted that the evidence implies that the applicant would receive lower access to services and care and considered that he does not have a support network in Greece. In view of the applicant's individual circumstances, in particular his need for health and social services, the Board concluded that he would receive better care in Iceland, annulled the decision of the Directorate of Immigration and asked to reconsider the case.
The case concerned an applicant from Afghanistan who applied for international protection in Italy. Upon registration, it was verified in the Eurodac database that the applicant had previously requested international protection in Bulgaria. The request to take charge of the application under the Dublin regulation was accepted by Bulgaria, and the transfer was notified to the applicant. An appeal against this decision was submitted on grounds that the applicant would be subject to inhumane and degrading treatment upon his return to Bulgaria and that, as he would be returned from Bulgaria to Afghanistan, this would be a violation of the non-refoulement principle.
The Tribunal of Turin considered a number of reports, including by Amnesty International, ECRE and the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, which highlighted the lack of adequateness of the asylum system and the related services in Bulgaria, in particular with regards to the support for unaccompanied minors, the identification of vulnerabilities, the provision of legal aid, and the poor detention procedures. Additionally, reports continue on the pushbacks of migrants arriving at the borders with Turkey, and on low recognition rates for many nationalities, including for Afghans nationals. Reception facilities are also in poor conditions and under the minimum standards required, and the opportunities for the integration of refugees are lacking. Taking into account the reports, the Tribunal ruled that the conditions of the asylum and reception system in Bulgaria are not such to guarantee that the applicant would not be subject to degrading and inhumane treatment and held that Italy should be responsible for the assessment of the application for international protection in this case.