Strasbourg as a life jacket and expulsions
RH v. Sweden 10.09.2015 (no. 4601/14)
No violation of Article 3 in case of expulsion of the applicant to Somalia.
Expulsion does not constitute a violation of Article 3 when the background to the complaint is contradictory and its allegations are not substantiated.
The case concerned the deportation of a Somali asylum-seeker. The applicant, Ms R.H., is a Somali national who was born in 1988. She applied for asylum in Sweden in December 2011, claiming that she had just arrived in the country.
The Migration Board and migration courts examined her situation and eventually rejected her asylum application in June 2013 and ordered her deportation to Somalia. Those instances found that the applicant’s statements to the authorities lacked credibility: notably, she had already filed asylum applications in Italy and the Netherlands before arriving in Sweden in 2007, staying there illegally until contacting the migration authorities in 2011; and, initially claiming that she had left Somalia because of the war, had then changed her story to allege that she had fled Somalia with a secret boyfriend to escape a forced marriage to an older man and feared ill-treatment by her family on her return, particularly by her uncles who had already severely beaten her in 2004 for trying to escape.
The applicant subsequently submitted a petition to have the enforcement of her deportation order stopped, claiming that her uncles had joined al-Shabaab, a jihadist terrorist group based in Somalia, forcing her brother to also join the group and killing her sister. The Migration Board rejected her petition in September 2013. The applicant’s deportation was stayed in January 2014 on the basis of an interim measure granted by the European Court of Human Rights under Rule 39 of its Rules of Court, which indicated to the Swedish Government that the applicant should not be expelled to Somalia whilst the Court was considering the case.
Relying in particular on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights, Ms R.H. alleged that, if removed from Sweden to Somalia, she would face a real risk of either being killed by her uncles for refusing to agree to a forced marriage before fleeing Somalia or forced to marry a man against her will again upon her return. She further claimed that the general situation in Somalia for women was very difficult, in particular for those – such as herself – who lacked a male network and were therefore all the more vulnerable.
THE DECISION OF THE COURT
No violation of Article 3 in the event of Ms R.H.’s deportation to Mogadishu in Somalia
Interim measure (Rule 39 of the Rules of Court) – not to deport Ms R.H. – still in force until judgment becomes final or until further order(echrcaselaw.com editing).