Applicant (Morocco) v Minister of Immigration and Asylum (Ministre de l'Immigration et de l'Asile) [Decision of 01.04.2020]
LU: The Administrative Court ruled on the prolongation of detention while return was not possible due to COVID-19 travel restrictions
The case concerned a national of Morocco who was due to be returned to Morocco. The applicant's detention had been prolonged by the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum by one month starting from 17 March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which had made it impossible to return the applicant. The applicant challenged the decision arguing that due to the fact that there were no flights to Morocco, his detention in the retention center should be lifted.
The court observed that the applicant was to be considered as illegally staying on the territory of Luxembourg, given that he was the subject of a final return decision dated 11 April 2018, as well as an entry ban for a period of 5 years dated 18 December 2019. In addition, he was not in possession of an identity document and valid travel document, he did not have an official address in Luxembourg, and a risk of absconding was presumed on his part.
Regarding the return to Morocco and the travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the court ruled that Morocco's borders are not closed for an indefinite time but only for a certain time, so that, at that stage, there was still a reasonable perspective of a deportation of the applicant.
Thus, the court concluded that the detention measure was legal and proportionate.
COVID-19/Emergency measures; Detention/ Alternatives to Detention; Return/Removal/Deportation;
La Justice Luxembourg
EASO Courts and Tribunals Network
Luxembourg, Administrative Court [Cour Administrative], Applicant (Morocco) v Minister of Immigration and Asylum (Ministre de l'Immigration et de l'Asile) [Decision of 01.04.2020], 44349C, 16 April 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.