EU Court of Human Rights: Against Deportation

Post Date: Jul 1st, 2011 | Categories: Advocacy | COMMENT

On 1 July “Somali National Day” since 1960, but not much to celebrate, Martin Jones emails APRRN:

The European Court of Human Rights has recently handed down an interesting judgment in the matter of Sufi and Elmi v. UK.  The case concerned the legality of attempts to return Somali failed asylum seekers to Mogadishu.  In determining the case, the Court made interesting findings of fact about the situation in Somalia and Kenya (the latter, for Somali refugees).  The judgment raises numerous interesting factual and legal issues.

In relation to Dadaab, the Court found that conditions in the camp violated the Article 3 requirement that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”  Specifically, the Court found that the risk of violence from Kenyan police and criminal gangs within and outside the camps; overcrowding; lack of adequate water; and restrictions on freedom of movement cumulatively resulted in inhuman or degrading treatment.  I have appended the operative paragraphs on this subject below.  This finding may be useful in your advocacy attempts – particularly against “warehousing” in such camps (as I think the same analysis would result in a similar finding in most refugee camps with which I am familiar).

The Court also made some observations about human rights reports relying upon quotations from anonymous individuals (in this case, commissioned by the UK government and reliant solely upon conversations with third parties within Somalia).  The Court finds that such documents can be used to corroborate other evidence but that it is almost impossible for them to independently establish facts.  The Court’s analysis might be useful for those of you facing UNHCR’s use of such “internal” reports (or government reliance upon similar reports from itself or the UNHCR).

The full judgment can be found here:

The Rule of Law without the State:

CIA World Factbook – Somalia:

Stoning under Sharia law
Stoning under Sharia Law