A.J. and Others v. Switzerland

Communication № 1041/2020
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“Dublin” transfer to Poland has been suspended pending the Committee's decision on the complaint
flag Switzerland / flag Poland / flag Russia / Committee against Torture
Case type: "dublin"

The applicants in the case are father ("A.J.") and his three minor children. All of them are Russian nationals of Chechen origin. The case concerns the father’s deportation from Switzerland to Poland under the Dublin III Regulation.

Circumstances of the case

Initially A.J. and his wife applied for asylum in Poland. Their first child was born there. Shortly thereafter the family applied for asylum in Switzerland. Their two other children were born there.

After the Swiss authorities had refused to grant asylum to the family, A.J. returned to Chechnya alone. There he was detained and subjected to torture. Thereafter he left Russia for Poland, where he applied for asylum. After his ex-wife and children had obtained a residence permit in Switzerland, A.J. came to Switzerland and applied for asylum.

Due to the persecution sustained in Russia, A.J. has developed post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive disorder.

The Swiss authorities decided that under the EU “Dublin III” Regulation Poland is responsible for consideration of A.J.'s asylum application and ordered to deport him there. The Polish authorities have agreed to accept A.J.. Appeal against the decision at the national level has been unsuccessful. A.J. was detained and placed in a deportation prison.

Thereafter, the family turned to us.

Complaint to the Committee against Torture

In our complaint to the Committee we argued that A.J.’s deportation to Poland would violate Articles 3, 14, and 16 of the Convention against Torture. These articles would be violated because A.J., who suffers from serious mental disorders, would be deprived of communication with his children in a stable environment, which is critical to his recovery. We also argued that in Poland he would not have access to adequate medical care. Furthermore, a renewed separation from the father would traumatise the children, which would entail irreversible consequences for their mental health and overall development.

We also stated that in Poland A.J.’s application for asylum would not be considered fairly because the Polish authorities systematically discriminate against asylum seekers of Chechen origin.

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Decision

On 7 January 2020, the Committee indicated to the Government of Switzerland an interim measure requesting it not to deport A.J. to Poland pending examination of the complaint.

After the decision, A.J. was released from the deportation prison.

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