А.K. и А.-M. К. v. Switzerland

Communication № 1089/2021
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Deportation to Ukraine has been suspended pending the Committee's decision on the complaint
flag Switzerland / flag Ukraine / Committee against Torture
Case type: asylum

The complainants in the case are nationals of Ukraine, husband (“A.K”) and wife (“A.-M. K.”). The case concerns the denial of asylum and the deportation of the complainants from Switzerland to Ukraine.

Circumstances of the case

A.K. was an anti-corruption activist. He started to receive numerous threats from the law-enforcement of Ukraine and fled from his hometown, then the country. In Ukraine there are two criminal investigations against A.K.

The law-enforcement started to visit A.-M. K. in order to find A.K. During one of such visits one of the officers raped her. Due to the sustained trauma, A.-M. K. has developed post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive disorder.

The Swiss authorities rejected the complainants’ applications for asylum and ordered them to leave the country. They also deprived the complainants of social assistance and decided to relocate them from their apartment to a collective center for rejected asylum seekers.

Complaint to the Committee against Torture

In the complaint we argued that the Swiss authorities did not properly verify the authenticity of provided evidence including materials pertaining to the criminal procedures against A.K. and A.-M. K.’s medical records. We pointed out that in Ukraine the complainants would face a real risk of torture or other ill-treatment. On this grounds we stated that the deportation of the complainants would violate articles 3 and 16 of the Convention against Torture.

We filed an additional complaint against the Swiss authorities after the decision to evict the complainants from the apartment. We indicated that at the collective center the female complainant, who suffers from mental disorders due to the trauma sustained in Ukraine, would be retraumatised. She would also not have access to adequate psychological care there. On this basis, we argued that the female complainant’s relocation to the collective center would violate articles 14 and 16 of the Convention against Torture.

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On 8 September 2021, the Committee indicated to the Government of Switzerland an interim measure requesting it not to deport the complainants to Ukraine pending examination of their case.

On 14 October 2021, the Committee indicated to the Government of Switzerland a new interim measure. It requested the Government of Switzerland not to move the complainants to any center for rejected asylum seekers pending examination of their case.

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