Denmark - The Refugee Appeals Board’s decision of 22 February 2017

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
22-02-2017
Court Name:
The Refugee Appeals Board
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
Denmark - The Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (1)
Denmark - The Danish Aliens Act Art. 56 (1)
cf. Art. 53 (10)
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Headnote: 

The applicant, an ethnic Al-Bagal and Sunni Muslim from Moraya, Nyala, Darfur, Sudan feared imprisonment or execution by the Sudanese authorities. According to the applicant’s account he had been imprisoned for alleged political activities for a total of 18 months during which he was tortured. Subsequently, he was regularly harassed by the Intelligence Service.

The Danish Immigration Service rejected the asylum application in July 2016.

On 29 November 2016, the Refugee Appeals Board upheld the decision of the Danish Immigration Service. The majority of the Board did not find to a sufficient degree that a torture examination would be of essential importance for deciding the case.

The Refugee Appeals Board resumed the case based on a forensic report presented by the applicant. The Board now referring to the forensic report accepted that the applicant had been exposed to torture. The Board thus found that the applicant, to a sufficient degree, had rendered probable that he, if returning to Sudan, was at risk of persecution and granted the applicant refugee status according to the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (1).

Facts: 

The applicant, born in 1987, is an ethnic Al-Bagal and Sunni Muslim from Moraya, Nyala, Darfur, Sudan. He entered Denmark in September 2016 and applied for refugee status. He stated that he feared if he returned to Sudan he would be imprisoned or executed by the authorities. In support of his application the applicant referred to his membership of the board of the student organisation “The Young Darfurians” at the Alzarim Alazhari University in Khartoum, where the applicant studied economy. The applicant was responsible for the financial matters of the organisation. The purpose of the organisation was to inform about what was happening in Darfur as well as humanitarian assistance to people at risk in Darfur.

In 2011 on his way home from the University the applicant was kidnapped by four men, who took him in a Land Rover to a prison where he was interrogated and accused by officials of political activities against the state and purchasing weapons for the insurgents in Darfur. The applicant was in prison for one year during which he was exposed to physical abuse. When released, the applicant had to report to the Intelligence Service in Khartoum.

In June 2012, the applicant resumed his studies and discovered that his organisation had been closed. He restarted the organisation and resumed his position as responsible for financial matters. In June 2013, the applicant was imprisoned again with the same accusations. Again, he was exposed to physical abuse. After six months, the applicant was released with a duty to report to the Intelligence Service every Thursday and Saturday. When reporting he was threatened by the authorities. After his release, the applicant was regularly harassed by the authorities at his home. The applicant left Sudan in February 2015.

The Danish Immigration Service rejected the asylum application in July 2016.

On 29 November 2016, the Refugee Appeals Board upheld the decision of the Danish Immigration Service. The Board did not accept an application for postponement to perform a torture examination as the majority of the Board did not find to a sufficient degree that such an examination would be of essential importance for deciding the case. Further, the majority of the Board did not accept the applicant’s account which they found divergent and overly elaborate.

On 12 February 2017, the applicant lodged an application for resumption attached with a report from a forensic examination performed by Amnesty International’s Medical Group stating that the applicants account on the torture he was exposed to entirely corresponded with the objective findings from the examination, which to a high degree substantiates the described torture.

Based on the report on the examination performed by the Medical Group of Amnesty International, the Refugee Appeals Board decided to resume the case.

The application was then considered only by the chair of the Board, according to the Danish Aliens Act Art. 56 (1), cf. Art. 53 (10).

Decision & Reasoning: 

The account of the applicant has been established by the Refugee Appeals Board.

The board accepted, based on the forensic report from Amnesty International’s Medical Group, that the applicant before leaving Sudan had been exposed to torture. The Board thus accepts that the applicant faced persecution by the Sudanese authorities due to his participation in the group “The Young Darfurians” at the university and that the applicant was exposed to torture in  prison.

The Board thus found that the applicant, to a sufficient degree, had rendered probable that he, if returning to Sudan, is at risk of persecution covered by the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (1).

Consequently, the Board granted the applicant refugee status according to the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (1). 

Outcome: 

The applicant was granted refugee status according to the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (1).