Denial of Danish citizenship without reason

The applicant was born in Afghanistan. He came to Denmark as an unaccompanied minor at the age of 15, as he had lost contact with his family. The applicant has learnt danish, graduated high school, and is studying to become a civil engineer.

The applicant applied for naturalisation in 2007, but was refused as he did not fulfill all the criteria. Three years later the applicant reapplied, and the then Ministry for Refugees, Immigrants and Integration informed him that his name would be on the next bill of naturalisation, which was expected to be passed in Parliament in July 2011. However, before passing the law, the Ministry would reassess whether he still fulfilled the criteria.

In April 2011, the applicant was informed that he was not eligible to become a danish citizen, and that he could not reapply within the following 5 years. No reason was given for the decision. Out of speculation, one of the reasons that the applicant was not eligible for citizenship could be that the National Security Service (PET) considered him a threat. Therefore, he asked PET for any documents given to the Ministry, however, the request was refused. Subsequently, the applicant complained to both the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry for Refugees, Immigrants, and Integration, and finally The European Court of Human Rights, after the first two complaints were denied.

In October 2016, the Court declared the application inadmissible on the basis that the applicant did not exhaust all available home remedies. This was based on the fact that in 2013, two years after the complaints to the Ministries, it was ruled in an unrelated case that naturalisation applicants may seek judicial review of denials, on whether obligations under international law have been breached.

Read more about the case in a piece written by Open Society here.

15. November 2023

HUDOC 64372/11
  • Decision: 13. October 2016
  • Comm: HUDOC