Concerning Mr. J.S.K.N vs. Denmark violation of CCPR article 26.
The author is a stateless Palestinian born in Lebanon. In 1991, he came to Denmark and got a residence permit. In 2002, his residence as a refugee was made permanent. The author has now lived the main part of his life in Denmark, and as a stateless person he has no other “homeland”. His wife and children are Danish citizens, but the author suffers from the effects of torture, and he never learned more than a very basic Danish due to his condition as a disabled.
He wants to be a Danish Citizen, however this demands a certain knowledge of the Danish language. He thus applied for naturalisation in 2005, and also provided medical information in order to get exempted from the language requirement due to his disability. Due to the rules at the time, he was rejected.
In 2011, a general election created another majority in the Danish parliament and consequently new rules were enacted. By the end of 2013, the author thus applied for naturalisation again.
On 27 October 2015, he then received the final rejection. He was informed that the discussion about his case in the Danish Parliament’s Naturalisation Committee, which took place on a meeting in the Parliament on 20 August 2015, are confidential. Consequently, he can not be given any concrete reasoning, as to why his application was turned down.
Since he suffers chronic Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), he is in fact disabled. The typical PTSD symptoms (frequent re-experiences and nightmares about previous trauma, excessive thoughts, concentration and memory problems, anxiety and fatigue) limits the patient’s intellectual abilities severely.
He has been receiving treatment from the Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims, but unfortunately his condition is nevertheless chronic, which was documented by several medical examinations.
He provided ample medical evidence regarding the severe mental ailments he suffers, and which make it impossible for him to learn Danish at the required level. The refusal to grant such exemption is therefore arbitrary. The failure to treat the author as a person with mental learning disabilities, and thus acknowledging the need to grant him the exemption contained in the Danish rules, is a discriminatory measure and a violation of his right to equality before the law.
The case was then forwarded to the UNHRC on 10 March 2016 and was registered by the UNHRC on 23 March 2016. Article 26 provides for equality before the law, and equal protection of the law without any discrimination. This provision prohibits discrimination in any field regulated and protected by public authorities.
The author would like to point to the fact that the author also suffers discrimination as covered by the ECHR and CRDP. Furthermore as a stateless person, Denmark should also do what they can to reduce statelessness according to the UN Convention of 30 August 1961.
14. July 2016