Groupe Islamic Algérien

Mr. M. O. (represented by Ms. Birte Falkesgaard-Larsen) vs Denmark for violation of articles 22 of CAT.

The complainant served as a corporal in a weapons store in the Algerian army. In 1994, he was contacted by representatives of the Groupe Islamic Algérien (GIA), who asked him to work for them and he refused. The author was then arrested and sent to prison, on suspicion of having supplied the GIA with weapons, ammunition, and food. He was allegedly interrogated and tortured by the Algerian security forces, and, unable to bear the torture, admitted to having worked for the GIA. He contends that his physical condition became so critical that he had to be transferred to a military hospital, from which he managed to escape.

The author arrived in Denmark and applied for asylum. The Danish authorities rejected the asylum case as they found that the author’s testimony about his reasons for seeking asylum was unreliable and that there were discrepancies in his account of events. Thus a complaint was sent to CAT.

The Committee notes that the credibility of an author, and the presence of relevant factual inconsistencies in his claim, are pertinent to the Committee’s deliberations as to whether the author would be in danger of being tortured upon return. The author’s initial submission and his subsequent explanations of his inconsistencies noted by the State party in its submission do not permit the Committee to make an informed decision on the likelihood of him being subjected to torture on his return to Algeria. The Committee, therefore, finds that the author has not established that he would face a foreseeable, real and personal risk of being tortured. Thus the Committee concludes that the removal of the author to Algeria would not constitute a breach of CAT.

20. July 2021

CAT 209/2002
  • Decision: 21. November 2003
  • Comm: Torture