Treated “almost as slaves” case

Concerning Z (represented by counsel, Marianne Vølund) vs Denmark for violation of articles 7 and 26 of CCPR.

The author’s father was from Armenia and his mother from Azerbaijan. When Z was 7 years old, unknown armed men abducted his father and he never saw his father again. After the abduction, his family was harassed by village residents “because his mother was from Azerbaijan”.The author’s mother subsequently left him and his brother, V, at an orphanage.

When the brothers turned 18, they were drafted to perform military service. When the commander found out that Z and V’s mother is from Azerbaijan, Z and V were treated “almost as slaves”. One day, some soldiers even tried to rape V. Thus the brothers fled to Azerbaijan but on their way, V was killed. The author lived in hiding with his mother in Azerbaijan for 2 years. After which, the author worked for and lived with a friend’s uncle, H, in Belarus without a residence permit. When H did not want to host an illegal immigrant anymore, the author fled to Denmark and applied for asylum.

The danish authorities rejected the author’s application for asylum as they found that many elements of his story were implausible, and that he had given contradictory accounts in key respects. Thus a complaint was sent to CCPR.

The Committee considers that, while the author disagrees with the Board’s conclusions, he has not shown that the conclusions were manifestly unreasonable or arbitrary in nature on the ground that inadequate consideration was given to the claims of the author in the domestic proceedings. Thus the Committee cannot conclude that the State party would violate CCPR if it removed the author to Armenia.

24. March 2020

CCPR 2422/2014
  • Decision: 24. May 2016
  • Comm: Human Rights