R.N., K.D. and Others v. Switzerland

Communication № 963/2019
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Deportation to Russia has been suspended pending the Committee's decision on the complaint
flag Switzerland / flag Russia / Committee against Torture
Case type: asylum

There are 5 applicants in the case – husband (“R.N.”), wife (“K.D.”) and their children. All of them are Russian nationals of Chechen origin. The case concerns the denial of asylum and the deportation of the complainants from Switzerland to Russia.

Circumstances of the case

R.N., K.D. and their eldest son were persecuted in Chechnya. The family went to Austria and applied for asylum there. After some time they returned to Chechnya.

After they had returned, the persecution of R.N. resumed. K.D. was subjected to sexual abuse. The eldest son of R.N. and K.D. was tortured due to his alleged links to illegal armed groups.

The State Secretariat for Migration rejected the family’s initial application for asylum and ordered them to leave the country. The complainants’ lawyer missed the deadline for lodging the appeal against this decision by one day. For this reason the Federal Administrative Court refused to consider the family’s complaint on the merits.

After that, the lawyer and other applicants’ representatives initiated numerous asylum procedures in Switzerland, but none of them were successful. As a result, the family has incurred significant financial costs.

For a year and a half, the Swiss authorities have repeatedly attempted to deport the applicants, including the organisation of a special flight for their expulsion.

The family’s first representative failed to obtain interim measures from the Committee against Torture and suspend their deportation.

After the Committee’s first rejection the family turned to us.

Complaint to the Committee against Torture

We prepared a new complaint for R.N., K.D. and their children to the Committee against Torture. In the complaint we pointed out the violations committed by the Swiss authorities during the review of their applications for asylum: flouting K.D.’s medical records and negligent verification of the authenticity of the presented evidence. We argued that in such circumstances deportation of the complainants would violate article 3 of the Convention against Torture.

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On 23 October 2019, the Committee indicated to the Government of Switzerland an interim measure requesting it not to deport the complainants to Russia pending the examination of their case.

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