Czech Republic - Supreme Administrative Court, 21 December 2005, S.N. v Ministry of Interior, 6 Azs 235/2004-57

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
6 Azs 235/2004-57
Court Name:
Supreme Administrative Court
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
Czech Republic - Asylum Act (325/1999 Coll.) - Art 12
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionPDF version of SummaryPDF version of Summary

Membership of a political party is not required to establish persecution for reasons of political opinion.


The applicant, a citizen of Belarus, applied for asylum in the Czech Republic in 2000. He claimed that because of his political opinions he was persecuted. He was a supporter of the opposition party and he attended meetings against the regime of president Lukasenko many times. Afterwards, he was repeatedly arrested by the police and he was threatened to be killed.

The Ministry of Interior denied his asylum request, claiming that the political action taken by the applicant was not sufficiently intense or repetitive to constitute the exercising of political rights and freedoms. The MOI stated that he was not even a member of the political party.

The applicant appealed to the Regional Court, which fully agreed with the conclusions of the Ministry of Interior. The applicant then lodged a cassation complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC). In this complaint, the applicant stated that he had never concealed his political views and he did not want to do so in the future. Also having regard to the fact that his family in Belarus has been a victim of harassment by the phone calls, his fear of persecution was justified.

Decision & Reasoning: 

After examining the contested decision, the Supreme Administrative Court agreed with the applicant stating that the Ministry of Interior and the Regional Court interpreted the term persecution for political grounds incorrectly.

According to the Court:

“The membership of a political party is one, but not the only opportunity to participate in public life and express political views. The very fact that the applicant was not a member, but only a supporter of the opposition party, does not lead to the conclusion that he did not express his political views sufficiently. It is all the more so if in this country the mere participation in demonstrations, organised by opposition parties, usually leads to persecution by representatives of state power. Therefore, one of the conditions is, that the applicant has some political opinion, he is able to present it adequately, and credibly describe the injustice caused for this reason."

Neither the Ministry of Interior nor the Regional Court examined the applicant´s participation in political events and his detention by the police. Therefore their interpretation of the term persecution was incorrect.


The appeal was successful and the Regional Court decision was cancelled.


Decision n. 6 Azs 235/2004-57, available at

Other sources cited: 

USA Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Affairs - Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2001, 2002 USA