Applicant (Syria) v Danish Immigration Service
DK: The Refugee Board rejected an extension of protection of a Syrian applicant, holding that general situation in Rif Damascus is no longer of such a nature that mere presence in the area poses a serious risk.
The applicant is a Syrian from Rif Damascus (province which encircles the capital Damascus), city of Mneen. The applicant entered Denmark as a family member in 2016 and applied for asylum in 2019. The applicant referred to the fear of being tortured and imprisoned on her return to Syria, as she was wanted by the Government Security Service and suspected of collaborating with the Free Syrian Army. The applicant also referred to her fear of being assaulted by her former spouse’s family and fears that her spouse’s family will take her children. In addition, the applicant referred to the general situation in Syria.
The Danish Immigration Service refused an extension of a residence permit to persons who have had a residence permit pursuant to section 7 (1) of the Aliens Act. 3, with reference to the general conditions in Syria and cases where the Agency has refused asylum.
The Board upheld the decision of the Danish Immigration Service and concluded that the general situation in Rif Damascus is no longer of such a nature that anyone will be at risk of being abused in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights solely due to the mere presence in the area. The Board found that according to the background information available the Syrian authorities have regained control of the majority of Rif Damascus in May 2018, including the part of Rif Damascus from which the applicant comes, the number of security incidents in Damascus and Rif Damascus decreased significantly in 2020 compared to previous years, ISIL and other opposition groups no longer exist in Damascus and Rif Damascus. The country report also states that a large number of residents go from Rif Damascus to Damascus on a daily basis to work, train or receive medical treatment.
The Board referred to the EASO report ‘Country Guidance Syria — Common analysis and guidance note’, published in September 2020, to note that the situation in Rif Damascus, including the part of Rif Damascus from which the applicant originates, remains serious and fragile. However, the risk of civilian loss as a result of fighting and similar events in Rif Damascus changed significantly since May 2018 and there was therefore an improvement in the situation in Rif Damascus over a long period of time.
The Board emphasised that, according to the information provided, the applicant never cooperated with or had any contact with the Free Syrian Army and was not politically active in opposition political parties or organisations. The Refugee Appeals Board also attached importance to the fact that the applicant did not apply for asylum until summer 2019, even though she allegedly received information from her father from the beginning of 2018 concerning alleged persecution. The Refugee Board found that the applicant has not shown any plausible evidence that she would be at risk of concrete and individual persecution covered by Section 7 (1) of the Aliens Act, or at a real risk of inhuman treatment covered by Section 7 (2) of the Aliens Act, in the case of return to the country of origin.
Another case was dealt identically on teyh same date.
Cessation of protection; EASO Country Guidance Materials; Indiscriminate violence; Syria;
Denmark, Refugee Appeals Board [Flygtningenævnet], Applicant (Syria) v Danish Immigration Service, 17 February 2021. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.