Internet Cafe case

Concerning Mr. A.B. vs Denmark for violation of CCPR articles 6, 7 and 13.

The author owned and ran an Internet cafe in Akora Khatak. He received threatening letters from the local Quran school, stating that his Internet cafe was against Sharia and illegal. On the night of March 12th, 2009 a bomb exploded in the internet cafe. He and his family moved to Peshawar. In Peshawar, the author was assigned to All Saints Church, where he was a member of a small group of people who helped with the maintenance and operation of the church. On September 22nd 2013, two suicide bombings exploded at the church and many people were killed. After the attack on the church the author started working on a plan, so the people from the churches themselves should start keeping watch around churches throughout the area. As a result, the author received several threats via SMS.

The author decided to flee and left Pakistan on 20 June 2014. In Denmark he applied for asylum on 7 August 2014. The author’s asylum case was rejected, as the danish authorities found that the applicant does not appear as a special profiled member of the Christian congregation and that except from some SMS threats and a single telephone threat, he has never been visited in person nor been assaulted. On the other hand, the member states of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are under an obligation not to deport persons who are in risk of deprivation of their human rights, in this case the right to freedom of religion including freedom to gather together with other Christians in safety. In the described situation, the complainant was already in danger of his life or serious ill treatment. On return, he would thus be in danger for his life or ill treatment again. The fact that his decision can not be appealed under Danish law is further violation of his right under article 13, as no individuals who receive a negative decision from the Board in Denmark are allowed appeal to the ordinary Danish court system. The Refugee Board invited the author for another board hearing on 28 November 2016 and after the hearing, the author’s application for asylum was rejected yet again. Thus the case is still pending at CCPR.

20. August 2020

Comm: Human Rights