16 January 2015
In two separate judgments, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) concluded that the proposed return to Sudan of two Sudanese nationals from Darfur would amount to ill-treatment given their ethnicity and their supposed affiliation with opposition groups in Sudan.
In the first of the two cases, Mr. A.A, a member of the Birqid, a non-Arab tribe in Sudan, had been physically tortured, abused and detained by members of the militia group, the Janjaweed, for supposed knowledge of and affiliation with the Justice and Equality Movement, a Sudanese opposition group. Similarly, in the second judgment, Mr. A.F, an ethnic Tunjur, had been tortured on account of his opposition activities against the Darfuri regime.
In both cases, the applicants were denied protection status by the French government due to inconsistencies with their submissions and a lack of credibility in their evidence. In response, the Court referred to several international and domestic reports as well as its own case-law (A.A v Switzerland) to conclude that links or suspected links with opposition groups in Sudan and Darfur led to a real risk of ill-treatment in the country. Moreover, in both cases, the Court referred to the applicant’s ethnic origin which also attracted unwanted attention and violence from government authorities and the Janjaweed in Sudan. Therefore, given their ethnic origins, opposition activities and international and medical documentation corroborating their submissions the Court found their evidence to be credible and concluded that the return of both to Sudan would violate their rights under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 16 January 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.