A.B. and Others (Russia) v Poland
ECtHR rules on administrative detention of asylum applicants with a small child
The case concerns a family of three applicants, Russian nationals. The first applicant applied for asylum in Poland in 2004 but subsequently left for Austria, where he lodged another asylum application. The proceedings in Poland were discontinued and the applicant again entered Poland in 2011 and re-applied for refugee status. He was removed from Poland and the proceedings were discontinued. In 2015 the three applicants tried, unsuccessfully, on four occasions to enter Poland, and according to the applicant border guards had stopped them from lodging applications. They were placed in administrative detention for 10m months with a small child.
Under Article 8 of the Convention, the applicants complained about a violation of their right to private and family life due to their placement in administrative detention and the fact that the authorities had not considered alternative measures to detention although they did not represent a threat to national security or public safety.
The Court stated that the placement measure was taken based on considerations of prevention of illegal immigration and controlling the entry and residence of aliens. In addition, considering that when they were release from detention in October 2015 they left Poland for Germany, the Court held that they clearly presented a risk of absconding and so the placement in administrative detention had been justified. The Court also looked at the living conditions in the Centre and concluded that there were no particular concern on this aspect. However, when considering the Government's consideration of alternative measures and the placement of a family with a small child in administrative detention, the Court concluded that the authorities failed to provide sufficient reasons to justify the 10 months detention. Thus, it found a violation of Article 8 of the Convention.
Access to procedures; Detention/ Alternatives to Detention; Vulnerable Group;
Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights [ECHR], A.B. and Others (Russia) v Poland, Applications nos. 15845/15 and 56300/15, ECLI:CE:ECHR:2020:0604JUD001584515, 04 June 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.