The UN Committee against Torture rules in a case of persecution of Christians in China

D.Z. v. Switzerland, Communication No. 790/2016

The U.N. Committee against Torture found that the expulsion of our client who alleges persecution by the Chinese authorities on account of her Christian faith, would constitute a violation of Article 3 of the Convention against Torture and Other forms of Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

D.Z. became a member of the Church of Almighty God, a Christian group professing the gospel of Jesus Christ and the omnipresence of God. She was baptised in 2010. In 2014, the Chinese authorities cracked down on their underground church and arrested and tortured its members including a sister in D.Z.’s congregation.  

In 2015, D.Z. applied for asylum in Switzerland. Her claim was denied by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) who found her account to be “contrary to all logic and the general experience”. D.Z.’s appeal to the Federal Administrative Court (TAF) was rejected because she could not afford to pay the advance fees imposed by the Court who found that her arguments were “bound to fail from the outset”. D.Z. filed an application before the European Court of Human Rights which dismissed her complaints in an unreasoned inadmissibility decision.      

In D.Z. v. Switzerland, the Committee against Torture noted that D.Z. had duly substantiated key aspects of her claim and observed that the Swiss authorities had not disputed D.Z.’s adherence to the Christian faith, even though they found other aspects of her claim to lack credibility. The Committee further noted that “the increasing incidence of persecution of Christians in China” was undisputed between the parties, and also referred to its Concluding Observations on the fifth periodic report on China highlighting “consistent reports that members of different groups including religious minorities continue to be charged, or threatened to be charged, with broadly defined offences as a form of intimidation”.

Under these circumstances the Committee concluded that it would be reasonable to assume that D.Z.’s removal to China “would put her at risk of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. The Committee requested Switzerland to reconsider her claim for asylum and to apply suspensive effect to the new proceedings. Switzerland must report to the Committee within 90 days on measures it has taken to implement the decision.   

R.S. c. Suisse, Communication no. 81/2019.

Dans l’affaire R.S. c. Suisse, Communication no. 81/2019, le Comité de l’ONU pour les droits des enfants (CDE) a estimé que la plainte de notre mandante était irrecevable et a rayée l’affaire du rôle.

Il s’agit d’une réfugiée titulaire d’un permis F et de sa fille qui ont demandé le regroupement familial avec leur conjoint, respectivement père, qui se trouve au Soudan. La plaignante ne remplira jamais la condition financière en droit suisse pour un regroupement avec son époux parce qu’elle est gravement malade et se trouve dans l’incapacité totale de travailler. Néanmoins, la CDE a estimé que nos arguments selon lesquels l’intérêt supérieur de l’enfant n’était pas pris en compte dans la décision du SEM et l’arrêt du TAF (F-5947/2017), étaient « insuffisamment fondés » et a donc déclaré la plainte irrecevable.

Requérant-e-s d’asile érythréen-ne-s : la Suisse viole le droit international (15.05.2019).

Nous avons saisi les procédures spéciales du Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations Unies à propos de la pratique des autorités suisses de nier la protection internationale aux ressortissant-e-s  érythréen-ne-s. Dans notre Appel Urgent nous demandons aux Rapporteurs spéciaux, sur la situation des droits humains en Érythrée, sur la torture et sur les droits humains des migrants, d’intervenir en urgence auprès des autorités suisses pour prévenir les violations graves des droits fondamentaux ainsi que la précarisation sociale des demandeur-e-s d’asile érythréen-ne-s. Par le biais de cette démarche, nous soutenons les revendications du réseau de Familles-relais/familles de parrainages pour les requérants d’asile qui a récemment interpellé les Rapporteurs spéciaux au sujet de cette problématique.

Pour lire notre Appel Urgent, cliquez ici.

Pour la Lettre d’allégation du réseau de Familles-relais/familles de parrainages, cliquez ici.

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).

Continuer la lecture de « CSDM submits urgent communication to the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council concerning Switzerland’s Dublin practice, 1 October 2018 »

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 »