The case concerns the removal from Switzerland of A.A., an Afghan national of Hazara ethnicity, said to be born in 1996. In March 2014 A.A. arrived in Switzerland. He applied for asylum and stated that he had left Afghanistan because of the unsafe situation in that country and his conversion from Islam to Christianity.
In February 2015 the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) rejected this application, noting that the grounds for asylum were not credible.
In October 2016 the Federal Administrative Court confirmed the SEM’s decision on the credibility of the asylum grounds, but found that the applicant’s conversion in Switzerland was genuine. It was of the view that the applicant would not be exposed to serious harm in Afghanistan as a result of his conversion and ordered his removal to that country. It further held that, while the complainant could not be returned to his region of origin (Ghazni province), he could take refuge in Kabul, where his uncles and cousins lived. His conversion to Christianity, which had occurred in Switzerland, was not a decisive factor, as it was not known to his relatives in Kabul.
In May 2017 the duty judge decided to apply Rule 39 (interim measures) of the Court’s Rules of Court and requested the Swiss government not to deport A.A. to Afghanistan during the proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights.
Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention, A.A. alleges that he would be subjected to ill-treatment if returned to Afghanistan.
Press release ECHR 366 (2019) 30.10.2019