“you foreigners have ruined our country”

Concerning X (represented by counsel, Cecilia Vejby Andersen) vs Denmark for violation of Article 7 of CCPR.

The author is from Syrian Arab Republic and is of Kurdish ethnicity. In 2007,he was issued a residence permit in Greece. In 2014, the author was assaulted in Athens by men affiliated with the Greek right-wing party Golden Dawn. He was beaten severely by the men, who shouted xenophobic phrases, such as “you foreigners have ruined our country” and “everything is your fault”. The men tore his residence permit, took pictures of him, and threatened to kill him next time. When the author went to the police to report the assault and the death threats, the police filed no report.

The author thus fled to Denmark and applied for asylum. As a reason for his request, he invoked the fact that he had been re-drafted for military service in the Syrian Arab Republic, and did not mention that he had been issued a residence permit in Greece. The Danish authorities refused to process the author’s request for asylum, owing to his refugee status in Greece and given that he could return and reside legally there. Thus a complaint was sent to CCPR.

The committee notes that in his asylum request to Denmark, the author claimed, that he feared a return to the Syrian Arab Republic, while the complaint before the Committee is based on his fear of return to Greece. The Committee also notes that in the author’s asylum application, the State party was not informed of the author’s assault by affiliates of an extremist party before leaving Greece. For that reason, the Committee considers this case inadmissible.

24. March 2020

CCPR 2523/2015
  • Decision: 11. May 2015
  • Comm: Human Rights