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Country of Decision : Switzerland
Court Name : CH: Federal Administrative Court [Bundesverwaltungsgericht - Tribunal administratif fédéral - FAC]
Date of decision : 13/02/2020
Type : Judgment
Case Number/Citation/ Document Symbol : case D-559/2020

A. (Iraq) v State Secretariat for Migration (Staatssekretariat für Migration – SEM)


CH: Federal Administrative Court assessed living conditions in Greece in case of removal of subsidiary protection beneficiary to this country

The applicant, A., is an Iraqi national who applied for asylum in Switzerland together with his brother. Following consultation of EURODAC it resulted that the applicant had lodged an application for asylum in Greece on 26­ September 2018 and that he had been granted subsidiary protection on 27 May 2019. The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) held a Dublin interview on 19 December 2019 where the applicant was granted the right to be heard and where he explained the reasons for not willing to return to Greece: first, concerns over smugglers that could threaten him and weak prospects of protection from Greek authorities and second, concerns over reception conditions in Greece and content of protection for beneficiaries of subsidiary status. On 13 December 2019, the Swiss authorities submitted a readmission request to Greece in accordance with the Return Directive and the Bilateral Readmission Agreement between Greece and Switzerland for persons benefiting from international protection. The Greek authorities accepted on 17 December 2019 the readmission of applicant and confirmed that he was granted subsidiary protection on 27 May 2019 and that he had a residence permit valid from 5 June 2019 to 4 June 2022. The applicant was allowed again to be heard regarding the possible failure to analyse the substance of the asylum application and submitted also observations on the same grounds, alleging a risk of being attacked and poor reception conditions, and health-related conditions. By decision of 22 January 2020, the SEM decided not to analyse the substance of the asylum application and ordered the removal to Greece. The applicant appealed the decision and the Federal Administrative Court (FAC) dismissed his appeal and upheld SEM’s decision.

The FAC concluded that the removal is possible to Greece because the applicant is not in a real danger as he is to be removed to a state which complies with the principle of non-refoulement under Article 5 (1) of the Asylum Law and Article 3 of the ECHR. The FAC noted also that the applicant received subsidiary protection in Greece and there is no risk of being removed to Iraq. The FAC assessed that the threats suffered by the applicant have never been reported to the competent Greek authorities and it cannot be assumed that the latter could not be willing or able to prosecute criminal acts; it held that it is for the applicant to report the alleged threats to the competent authorities. It was further assessed that although the Greek social centres have problems not only for asylum applicants but also to those granted a form of protection, and despite irregularities in­ access to low-cost housing or the labour market, Greece is bound by the Qualification Directive and a lower standard of living would not expose the applicant to a serious risk of inhuman and degrading treatment. As for the health conditions, the applicant alleged during the Dublin interview that he was suffering from visual disorders, but no medical documents were submitted.

Assessment of Application; Asylum Procedures/Special Procedures; Content of Protection/Integration; Medical condition; Non-refoulement; Return/Removal/Deportation; Safe Country concept/Safe Country of Origin/ Safe third country; Subsidiary Protection;

European Convention on Human Rights; Return Directive (Directive 2008/115/EC of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals);


Switzerland, Federal Administrative Court [Bundesverwaltungsgericht - Tribunal administratif fédéral - FAC], A. (Iraq) v State Secretariat for Migration (Staatssekretariat für Migration – SEM), case D-559/2020, 13 February 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.