The story of Mr. J.D. throws a dark shadow over Switzerland’s humanitarian tradition.

J.D. v. Switzerland, Communication no. 700/2015   

Our client, a Syrian national and torture survivor, is stuck in legal limbo. He is waiting for the outcome of the Dublin Regulation procedure that Switzerland launched almost 4 years ago to have him deported to Italy. And while Switzerland fights tooth-and-nail to keep him out, no one has yet heard his story, or even asked him why he left his country.

Mr. J.D. was imprisoned in Syria for 5 years. During his detention, he was regularly tortured and forced to witness the ill-treatment and summary execution of fellow prisoners. In 2012 the prison was bombed by an armed opposition group and he escaped with hundreds of other detainees.

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CSDM submits urgent communication to the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council concerning Switzerland’s Dublin practice, 1 October 2018

The CSDM has submitted an urgent communication to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants concerning Switzerland’s systematic practice of expelling vulnerable asylum seekers in proceedings under the Dublin III Regulation to countries with dysfunctional asylum systems that expose the persons concerned to a real risk of inhuman and degrading treatment.

The Committee against Torture recently held that the expulsion of an Eritrean torture survivor to Italy, where he risked being deprived of the medical care necessary to treat his physical and psychological trauma, and where he would face street destitution, amounted to breaches of Articles 3, 14 and 16 of the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (see A.N. v. Switzerland, Communication no. 742/2016; also Swiss parliamentarians interpellation concerning implementation of this decision).

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The United Nations rules that the expulsion of a torture victim to Italy under the Dublin Regulation violates Convention against Torture, 3 August 2018

CSDM obtains a landmark victory for torture victims worldwide: the right to rehabilitation under Article 14 of the United Nations Convention against Torture imposes limitations on a state’s power to expel torture survivors who would face interruption of medical treatment in the country of destination. The Convention against Torture is one of the most widely ratified human rights treaties and has 164 State parties (as of June 2018). 

In a landmark decision of 3 August 2018, A.N. v. Switzerland, Communication 742/2016, the United Nations Committee against Torture ruled that the expulsion of an Eritrean torture victim to Italy under the Dublin Regulation would violate his rights under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by depriving him of the medical treatment necessary for his rehabilitation. A torture victim’s right to rehabilitation is guaranteed under Article 14 of the UN Convention against Torture. The Committee found that the deprivation of medical care which is necessary to treat the physical and psychological after-effects of torture amounts to ill-treatment under Article 16 of the Convention, and therefore engages the State Party’s non-refoulement obligations. Continuer la lecture de « The United Nations rules that the expulsion of a torture victim to Italy under the Dublin Regulation violates Convention against Torture, 3 August 2018 »

B.F. c. Suisse, requête n° 13258/18 CEDH

L’affaire concerne un réfugié au bénéfice d’un Permis F souhaitant un regroupement familial avec sa fille mineure restée bloquée dans un pays tiers. Notre requête à la Cour à Strasbourg conteste le refus des autorités suisses d’accéder à sa demande sous l’angle des articles 8 et 14 de la Convention européenne des droits de l’Homme. Ces articles concernent le droit au respect de la vie familiale et l’interdiction de la discrimination.

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B. v. Switzerland: The Committee against Torture suspends Dublin expulsion to Bulgaria

The case concerns an Afghan asylum seeker who was detained under inhuman and degrading conditions and severely illtreated in Bulgaria. He subsequently sought asylum in Switzerland and was ordered expelled back to Bulgaria under the Dublin Regulation. He challenged his expulsion on the grounds that it would contravene Articles 3 and 16 of the Convention against Torture due to the risk of further illtreatment and exposure to inhuman and degrading conditions of detention in Bulgaria. He also alleged that he risked onwards refoulement to his country of origin where he faced summary execution and torture. The Committee against Torture suspended his expulsion and has asked Switzerland to reply to the allegations.