A.B., P.D. and Others v. Poland
The complainants in the case are husband (“A.B.”), wife (“P.D.”) and their children. All of them are Russian nationals of Chechen origin.
The case concerns repeated refusals to receive an application for asylum at the Polish border at the “Terespol” checkpoint and the complainants’ subsequent expulsion to Belarus.
Circumstances of the case
In Chechnya the complainants were persecuted. Eventually they decided to seek asylum in the European Union.
The family first travelled to Brest, Belarus. In January-August 2017, the complainants tried to enter Poland through the “Terespol” border checkpoint 24 times and apply for asylum there. They told the border guards that in Belarus they feared for their safety, as they would not be able to obtain protection there and would be expelled to Chechnya. However, the complainants' applications for asylum were routinely ignored and the family was returned to Belarus.
Complaint to the Human Rights Committee
In the complaint to the Committee it was argued that the Polish authorities’ actions violated articles 7, 13 and 2 (3) (a), taken in conjunction with articles 7 and 13, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Together with the complaint, we filed an interim measures request. The Committee granted the request and asked the Polish authorities to receive the family's application for asylum. The complainants continued to travel to “Terespol” and apply for asylum. But despite the Committee’s decision, the Polish authorities continued to ignore their applications and expelled them to Belarus each time.
The complainants were able to enter Poland in November 2017. The Committee has thereafter lifted the previously indicated interim measure.