View Adopted: 2022.03.15
The authors of the communication are O., P., and their children, Q., R., and S., all nationals of Albania. The authors left Albania because O., poet and journalist, received death threats from organized crime networks after discovering a network of high-level corruption in Albania and writing a book about it. After their request of asylum in Sweden was rejected, upon arrival to Albania, O. was detained and subjected to torture and ill treatment. The authors returned to Sweden in 2014 and requested a fresh assessment of their request, but the Agency rejected it again. In 2016, the authors submitted new requests of asylum and the Agency rejected all of them and the appeals on similar grounds. In 2019 the decision to expel the authors became final but the Agency held the enforcement of the order in compliance with the Committee’s interim measures. The authors claim that their deportation from Sweden to Albania in 2013 constituted a violation by the State party of article 7 alone and in conjunction with article 2 of the Covenant, and that the rejection of the request to reassess their asylum request, and the threat of deportation to Albania following the rejection of their asylum request, constituted a violation of article 7 read alone and in conjunction with article 2.
Despite the case having been considered by the European Court of Human Rights, the Committee noted that the authors’ application was rejected by a single judge formation solely on procedural grounds, and did not include a certain consideration of the merits of the case, so the Committee does not find article 5(2) (a), of the Optional Protocol an obstacle to the examination of the authors’ claims. As to the authors’ claims under article 7 of the Covenant, the Committee considers them to be sufficiently substantiated.
The Committee considers that any inconsistencies found by the State party in assessing the request of asylum did not exempt it from taking other reasonable measures to remove doubts concerning the risk faced by the authors if deported to their country of origin. The Committee considers that the assessment of the authors’ claims by the State party was clearly arbitrary and that their removal to Albania would amount to a violation of article 7 of the Covenant.
The State party is under an obligation to proceed to a review of the claim of the authors taking into account the State party’s obligations under the Covenant and the Committee’s present Views. The State party is also requested to refrain from expelling the authors to Albania while their requests for asylum are being reconsidered.
Deadline: 15 October 2022
By: Irene Aparicio