View Adopted: 2022.11.01
The author of the communication is Jean-Claude Rudurura, a national of Burundi and a member of the Tutsi ethnic group. He worked as healthcare facilities supervisor in the Muramvya province. As a consequence of his participation in the protests against the government, he was threatened by the authorities and, iIn his professional role, he was forced to sign false death reports to exonerate the government militia from killings of demonstrators and political opponents. In 2016, despite new threats, the author revealed to a journalist information about two bodies that had been found in the Mubarazi river. He then decided to flee the country and applied for asylum in Sweden. While he was already abroad, he was informed that the authorities had apprehended his wife and daughter and that an arrest warrant had been issued against him. In 2019, the Swedish authorities determined that certain factual elements submitted by the author were not credible and rejected his application. The decision was upheld by the Migration Court, and the Swedish authorities refused to grant a further review of the application. The author alleges that, by deporting him to Burundi, the State party would expose him to a real risk of irreparable harm, in violation of articles 6 (right to life) and 7 (prohibition of torture).
Contrary to the allegations of the State party, the Committee considers that the author has sufficiently substantiated his claims. Therefore, all the author’s claims are admissible.
The Committee recalls that it is for the State party to examine the facts of the case, unless it can be established that the assessment was clearly arbitrary or amounted to a manifest error or denial of justice. It observes that the Swedish authorities failed to take into account that multiple factors, including the leak of information to the press and the author’s ethnic group and political opinion, concurred to exacerbate the risk that he would be exposed to in Burundi. Therefore, the Committee concludes that the State party’s assessment was arbitrary and that the author’s deportation to Burundi would violate articles 6 and 7.
The State party is required, inter alia, to reassess the author’s application, taking into account its obligations under the Covenant and the Committee’s findings. The State party is urged not to deport the author while his asylum application is under review.
In an individual dissenting opinion, Committee member Carlos Gómez Martínez argues that the reasons provided by the majority would not qualify the State party’s decision as arbitrary, but rather as manifestly erroneous. However, a mere disagreement between the Committee and the State party’s authorities in the assessment of evidence cannot give rise to a manifest error. Therefore, the Committee should not have found a violation of articles 6 and 7.
Deadline: 1 May 2023
By: Giacomo Bruno