“Too much detail and nuance in the explanation” case

Concerning Mr. S.A.M vs Denmark for violation of article 3 of CAT.

The author arrived in Denmark and applied for asylum in 2011. He arrived as a minor without accompanying family and explained that he fled from the Taliban in Afghanistan. The author’s family and father had a conflict with a commander Mr. S. The author’s father received several threats from Mr. S. The father sent the rest of the family to Iran. The author grew up in a society filled with oppression and mockery. In 2006, the author’s brother was barred from further education. In 2007, the author’s mother died of cancer. The author’s father then decided that the family would return to Afghanistan, because he wanted the author and his brother to continue education, and because security appeared to have improved.

after their move back to Afghanistan they were kidnapped by three men. They were taken into a cellar, where they were bound by chains and exposed to serious physical abuse. The author broke his right leg and split an eyebrow, the author’s brother broke his nose, and the author’s father broke two teeth. Then Mr. S entered. He took boiling water and poured it over the author’s hand. Mr. S took the author’s father away. After a few hours, the guard came and released the author and his brother.  

The Danish authorities rejected the author’s application for asylum, because they found that there was too much detail and nuance in the explanation. The fact that his leg was broken, and he suffered from burning of his arm, should nevertheless give rise to a torture examination before the Board could reject his asylum motive, and thus the Board has been asked to reopen the case with the purpose of reconsidering the issue of risk of torture. The Committee against Torture (CAT) decided on 3 August 2018, that the complainant’s removal to Afghanistan by the State party would not constitute a violation of article 3 of the Convention.

16. January 2020

CAT 693/2015
  • Decision: 3 August 2018
  • Comm: Torture