Judgement by the European Court of Human Rights regarding Somali citizens
A judgement by the European Court of Human Rights will influence applications for asylum and residence based on family reunification from Somali citizens. (REVISED ON 21 MARCH 2012)
The European Court of Human Rights issued a judgement on 28 June 2011 in a case dealing with the repatriation of two Somali asylum seekers, whose applications had been refused. On 28 November 2011 the Court of Appeal rejected a request to reopen the cases. The case is now final.
In the judgement, the Court ruled that repatriating Somali citizens to certain regions of the country is a violation of Article 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, due to the general security situation in Somalia.
The judgement is a key source of reference for immigration authorities when making decisions on applications for asylum from Somali citizens. The judgement is also applicable in applications for family reunification, since repatriation of Somali citizens to certain parts of Somalia – provided the general security situation remains unchanged – would amount to a violation of Denmark’s international obligations.
The parts of Somalia individuals may not be deported to include: Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab controlled areas, the Afgooye Corridor and the refugee camps of Dadaab (Kenya). The Court also ruled that individuals should not be deported to southern or central Somalia, unless the individual has close relatives living in these areas. Nor should individuals be deported to Somaliland or Puntland, unless the individual is from either the region or has strong clan ties to these areas. Special information regarding applications for asylum
The court’s judgement has led the Refugee Appeals Board to remit to the Immigration Service for first instance processing all applications for asylum submitted by Somali citizens from the southern and central regions of Somalia, if the application is still being processed, or if the applicant’s request for asylum was denied and the individual was ordered to leave Denmark. Read more about the Refugee Appeals Board’s order to reopen certain applications (in Danish only).
The Immigration Service expects to complete processing of the reopened cases by the end of March 2012.
Somali citizens who have already been granted a Danish residence permit for reasons other than asylum, and who have previously had their application for asylum rejected by the Danish immigration authorities, can contact the Immigration Service by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, if they would like the immigration authorities to re-evaluate their rejections.Special information regarding applications for family reunification
The Immigration Service will follow the court’s judgement in current and future applications for family reunification in which the applicant or the sponsor (the individual living in Denmark, e.g. a spouse) is a Somali citizen and if it is uncertain whether the family can exercise their right to family life in Somalia. The judgement will also be taken into account when considering whether family reunification rules in certain situations would be in conflict with the European Human Rights Convention.
Somali citizens who previously have had their applications for family reunification rejected can resubmit a new application free of charge, if they wish.
In order to apply for family reunification, complete and submit application packet FA1, available in the Forms section of our website, www.newtodenmark.dk
.A Somali version of this message will soon be available on newtodenmark.dkContact The Danish Immigration Service
Read the European Court of Human Rights decision in the case of Sufi and Elmi v. The United Kingdom (Applications nos. 8319/07 and 11449/07)