7 million Afghans being deported

Concerning Mr. M.M vs. Denmark for violation of article 6, 7, 13, 18 and 26 of CCPR.

The following case has been decided. It was found on the 14th of March 2019 by the Committee that the forcible return of the complainant to Afghanistan did not violate his rights under articles 7 and 18. See attached PDF for the full decision or read on to get a description of the case.

The complainant is a Hazara citizen from Afghanistan. The author expressed his fear for the return to Afghanistan, because his father was kidnapped by Taliban and his mother died when he was about 9-10 years old. He then lived with his Uncle, but due to a conflict with people who sexually exploited the author, he had to escape. This application for asylum was denied by decision of the Refugee Board on 16 January 2012.

On 13 October 2013, he was baptized in a Christian Church after having attended Church services since June 2013. Thus on his behalf, the Danish Refugee Council on 11 December 2013 applied for reopening of his asylum case at the Danish Refugee Board, due to the fact that he now risks persecution, as a person who converted from Islam. An action punished with the death sentence in Afghanistan. A copy of the certificate of baptism from the Danish Church was annexed to the letter of 11 December 2013.

By the letter of 6 February 2014 the reopening of the asylum was denied. There were only two reasons for the denial. Firstly, that the author did not mention anything about his new Christian faith during the processing of the original asylum application. This may be understandable however, since he was not Christian at the time, and that is why the request with the Certificate of Baptism is new information relevant to the case. Secondly, it was also argued that since the Refugee Board members did not believe the author during the first Board hearing in January 2012, he lacks credibility and thus the conversion is fake.

Between the Refugee Board’s decision in 2012, and the current situation in Afghanistan, the situation has become much more dangerous according to the UNHRC memorandum dated 6 August 2013. A number of groups from Afghanistan can now be identified as being in need of international protection including – individuals associated with or perceived as supportive of the government and the international community, men and boys of fighting age, and members of minority ethnic groups. Since the author has been living in the western world, he risks to be perceived to be contrary to the Islamic rules, and to be supportive of the government and/or the international community. This has just become clearer after his conversion. Since he is also of fighting age, he risks to be forced to fight either for the Afghan government or the Taliban, and reports about sexual assaults on young men are also common. He has no protection since he has no family left in Afghanistan, and he belongs to the Hazara minority ethnic group.

Afghans from unsafe areas like the author can no longer expect to live in Kabul, since the number of Afghan citizens living abroad and potentially being deported and taking up residence in Kabul estimates 7 million people. That is also why the Memorandum of Understanding from 2004 between Denmark and Afghanistan needs to be reconsidered, however the Danish authorities seems not to be willing to do so. As of 2 March 2015 they received a letter from the Afghan authorities to stop deportation to Afghanistan, however the Danish authorities have continued. Thus a complaint was sent to CCPR.

30. August 2019

CCPR 2345/2014
  • Decision: 14. March 2019
  • Comm: Human Rights