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Strasbourg ruling Court finds Switzerland violated Sudanese man’s rights

Europe's highest court is based in Strasbourg, France


The European Court of Human Rights has condemned Switzerland’s decision to reject a Sudanese activist’s asylum request and to send him back to Khartoum where it said he risks torture. 

In its verdict published on Tuesday, the Strasbourg-based court held that Switzerland’s decision to send the Sudanese national back home had violated articles two and three of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protect the right to life and prohibit torture and "inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment". 

The Sudanese man has been a member of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) opposition group since 2005. He is also a member of a group fighting for the rights of minorities and against discrimination in Sudan’s Darfur region. 

He claims to have left his country in 2009 and travelled via various countries before entering Switzerland in 2012 where he filed an asylum request. However, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) rejected his request saying he does not have official refugee status and has ordered his deportation.

The Federal Administrative Court had rejected his appeal against this decision, prior to his appeal to Europe’s highest court of law.

In its ruling, the Strasbourg court said the man’s declarations concerning his political affiliations, however incoherent, should not be questioned, and that he was likely to be subject to surveillance by Sudan’s intelligence services. 

It added that there was reason to believe that he risked being detained, interrogated and tortured if flown back to Khartoum Airport.

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