ECHR Forbids France to Extradite a Chechen Asylum Seeker
On July 9, the European Court of Human Rights has notified in writing a judgement related with an extradition threat against a Chechen asylum seeker in France.
Here is the press release:
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
ECHR 241 (2015)
The European Court of Human Rights has today notified in writing the following judgment related with a Chechen asylum seeker in France.
R.K. v. France (no. 61264/11)
The applicant is a Russian national. He was born in 1985 and lives in Mesnil Amelot.
The case concerned a procedure for returning a Russian of Chechen origin to the Federation of Russia.
R.K. lived in Grozny, where the Russian authorities had suspected three of his cousins of having participated or collaborated in numerous attacks in Chechnya. The authorities considered that R.K. had himself also helped his cousins. In 2002 two of them had disappeared. In 2003 R.K. was arrested and violently interrogated by the police on his activities and links with his cousins. He had been struck in the face and body. R.K. also stated that he had been struck and interrogated once again for four days in March 2004. He had then been released after his father had paid a ransom. He had left Chechnya once at the beginning of summer 2004 and then again in November 2006, arriving in France.
R.K. applied for asylum on 26 June 2007, but the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) rejected his application. On 21 January 2010 the Prefect of the Bas-Rhin Department served him with a refusal of residence and an order to leave French territory. On 28 February 2011 the Prefect of the Val-de-Marne Department served him with a removal order, fixing the Russian Federation as the country of destination. However, on 5 October 2011 the European Court of Human Rights decided to indicate – under Rule 39 of its rules of Court (interim measures) – to the French Government not to remove R.K. to the Russian Federation for the duration of proceedings before the Court.
Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment), the applicant alleged that returning him to the Russian Federation would expose him to a risk of treatment contrary to the provisions of that Article.
Violation of Article 3 – in the event of R.K.’s removal to the Russian Federation
Interim measure (Rule 39 of the Rules of Court) – not to expel R.K. – still in force until judgment becomes final or until further order.
Just satisfaction: The applicant did not submit a claim for just satisfaction.