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Council of Europe
Country of Decision : Council of Europe
Court Name : CoE: European Court of Human Rights [ECHR]
Date of decision : 02/03/2021
Type : Judgment
ECLI :
Case Number/Citation/ Document Symbol : Application no. 36037/17

R.R. and others (Iran and Afghanistan) v Hungary

The ECtHR held that Hungary violated the rights under Article 3 and 5 of the Convention for a family of applicants in the Röszke transit zone.

The applicants are a family of five, one Iranian and four Afghan nationals, who arrived in Hungary on 19 April 2017 from Serbia and entered the Röszke transit zone, situated on Hungarian territory at the border between the two countries. They applied for asylum on the same date. In the transit zone, they stayed initially in a 13 sq. m. container, with three bunk beds without child safety rails, which the applicants reported to be extremely hot and with poor ventilation in the summer. R.R. was not entitled to the reception of meals from the Office for Immigration and Asylum (IAO) as he had already applied for asylum in Hungary before entering the transit zone with his family. 

On 29 June 2017, the applicants were moved to an isolation section because the applicant's mother and children had hepatitis B. They were provided with inadequate food for children, basic medical care but no psychiatric treatment, no refrigerator, microwave and washing machine was present in the section, no activities were organised for the children. The police officers/guards often raided their living containers to perform security checks. They reported that no interpreter was present during medical examinations and during gynaecological examinations of one applicant, male guards had been present. The youngest applicant child, born in August 2016 in Serbia, had not been given the vaccines recommended at six months.

On 15 August 2017, the applicants were granted leave to enter and temporarily stay in the territory of Hungary (admitted alien status, befogadott). The applicants left for Germany on 25 August 2017, where they were later granted international protection. 

The applicant complained that the fact of and the conditions of their detention in the transit zone were in violation of Articles 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), 13 (right to an effective remedy), 5 (right to liberty and security), and 34 (right of individual petition) of the European Convention.

The Court held that there had been a violation of Article 3, due to the issues posed by the confinement of minors, who are vulnerable individuals, the lack of attention of the State to assess the needs of the applicants, and the living conditions examined in the Röszke transit zone by the Grand Chamber of the Court in the case of Ilias and Ahmed v. Hungary (no. 47287/15). The Court also found that the extended duration of the stay of the applicants in the transit zone, the considerable delays in the examination fo the asylum claims, the conditions of the stay and the lack of judicial review of the applicants' detention in the transit zone amounted to a violation of Article 5 § 1 and § 4 of the Convention. The Court did not consider it necessary to examine the complaints under Article 13 and Article 34 of the Convention. 

Assessment of Application; Border procedures; Detention/ Alternatives to Detention; Minor; Torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment ; Vulnerable Group;

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); Revised Asylum Procedures Directive (Directive 2013/32/EU on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection) and/or APD 2005/85/CE; Revised Reception Conditions Directive (Directive 2013/33/EU laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection) and/or RCD 2003/9/CE;

EASO IDS

Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights [ECHR], R.R. and others (Iran and Afghanistan) v Hungary, Application no. 36037/17, 02 March 2021. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.

https://caselaw.easo.europa.eu/pages/viewcaselaw.aspx?CaseLawID=1617