Magazine article Europe-East

Asylum : Asylum-Seeker Cannot Be Expelled Pending Appeal Outcome

Magazine article Europe-East

Asylum : Asylum-Seeker Cannot Be Expelled Pending Appeal Outcome

Article excerpt

On 26 April, the EU Court of Human Rights unanimously condemned France for having refused asylum and for nearly expelling an Eritrean journalist. Above all, the Court criticised French legislation that does not grant suspending effect to appeals from persons placed in waiting areas. According to the judges, this is a violation of the right to an effective remedy and the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment, laid down respectively in Articles 13 and 3 of the European Human Rights Convention (EHRC, 26 April 2007, Gebremedhin, No. 25389/05).

Asebeha Gebremedhin, aged 28, was working as a reporter and photographer for the independent newspaper Keste Debena before being arrested in 2000. Imprisoned for six months, tortured in particular about his editor's flight abroad, he managed to escape from the prison hospital and arrived, via Sudan, at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris at the end of June 2005. Nevertheless, his application for entry in France on grounds of asylum was dismissed on 5 July by OFPRA (the French authority for the protection of refugees and stateless persons) on account of inconsistencies in his claim. The following day an expulsion order to Eritrea was delivered by the Ministry of Interior. The appeal before the urgent applications judge of the Administrative Court was dismissed. An application was lodged with the EU Court of Human Rights that immediately ordered French authorities not to expel him and a temporary stay permit was granted.

As far as the Court is concerned, the asylum-seeker must be able to have access in the waiting area to an appeal with a full suspending effect right on account of ill-treatment or torture that could take place following expulsion. …

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