Applicant (Syria) v Danish Immigration Service (no. 2)
DK: The Refugee Board rejected an extension of protection for 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). The applicant entered Denmark in 2014 and applied for asylum. In the summer of 2015, the Immigration Service issued a residence permit under Paragraph 7 (3) of the Aliens Act, as she came from an area in which a return to the country of origin had to be regarded as a real risk of being subjected to abuses within the meaning of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In 2020, the Immigration Service decided to refuse to extend the applicant’s residence permit, pursuant to Paragraph 11 (2) (2) of the Aliens Act, considering that the basis for the residence permit was no longer present, since the situation in the province of Rif Damascus changed significantly since May 2018 and that there is therefore an improvement in the conditions in the area.
The applicant challenged the refusal and referred to her fear of being detained by the Syrian authorities on the grounds that her brother is wanted for fleeing military service, she left Syria illegally and is a single woman. In addition, she referred to the general situation in Syria, including the fact that, as a single woman, she is particularly vulnerable.
In support of her asylum motive, the complainant has stated that she shares her surname with her brother,and she therefore fears that the authorities will detain her with a view to having her brother register.
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.
Cessation of protection; Indiscriminate violence; Syria;
Denmark, Refugee Appeals Board [Flygtningenævnet], Applicant (Syria) v Danish Immigration Service (no. 2), 17 February 2021. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.