Denmark - the Refugee Appeals Board’s decision of 1 December 2017

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
01-12-2017
Court Name:
The Refugee Appeals Board
Relevant Legislative Provisions:
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
Denmark - The Danish Aliens Act Art. 7
(1)
(2)
Denmark - The Danish Aliens Act Art. 11 (2)
Denmark - The Danish Aliens Act Art. 19 (1) no. 1
Denmark - The Danish Aliens Act Art 19 (7)
Denmark - The Danish Aliens Act Art. 26 (1)
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Headnote: 

The complainant is an ethnic Galadi and a Muslim from Afgoye, Somalia. On 6 April 2017, the Danish Immigration Service decided not to prolong the complainant’s subsidiary protection under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 11 (2), cf. Art. 19 (1) no. 1 and Art. 19 (7) cf. Art. 26 (1).

After an overall assessment of the country of origin information the Board found that a deportation of the complainant to Afgoye no longer constitutes a violation of Denmark’s international obligations including ECHR article 3. However, regarding the assessment under the Aliens Act article 26, the Board found that due to the applicant’s economic, linguistic and social integration the Immigration Service’s decision to end the applicant’s subsidiary protection was incorrect. Thus the Board decided to uphold his subsidiary protection under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (2).

Facts: 

The complainant, born in 1994, is an ethnic Galadi and a Muslim from Afgoye, Somalia. He entered Denmark in July 2012 as a UN refugee. The complainant originally stated that he feared the general conditions in Somalia and al-Shabaab. He informed the Danish Immigration Service that his father disappeared in 2002. In December 2006 the complainant was in Mogadishu with his uncle when unknown persons attacked the bus in which the complainant and his uncle travelled. The complainant’s uncle was killed and shortly after the complainant left Somalia. On 27 April 2012, the Danish Immigration Service granted the applicant subsidiary protection under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 8, (2) cf. Art. 7, (2) as deportation to South and Central Somalia at that time was found to be a violation of the ECHR Article 3.

On 6 April 2017, the Danish Immigration Service decided not to prolong the complainant’s temporary protection under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 11 (2), cf. Art. 19 (1) no. 1 and Art. 19 (7) cf. Art. 26 (1).

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Refugee Appeals Board did not find that the complainant had pleaded conditions which could justify refugee status under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (1). Regarding subsidiary protection under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7, (2), the Board finds that the general conditions including the power relations in Mogadishu according to the country of origin information has changed substantially since the ECtHR judgement of  28 November 2011 in the Case Sufi and Elmi v. the United Kingdom. It is evident from e.g. the ECtHR judgement of 10 September 2015 in the Case R.H. v. Sweden that the general security situation in Mogadishu continues to be serious and fragile, but the mere presence in the city in itself does not constitute a violation of ECHR article 3. However, it is also evident from the country of origin information that al-Shabab is present outside the cities, including Mogadishu, from where they infiltrate the cities primarily at night and since al-Shabab was expelled from the cities the SFG and SNAF have needed assistance from AMISOM to militarily control the cities. It also appears that the general security situation in Mogadishu has deteriorated since 2015 and al-Shabab, which now carry out more attacks against large cities, increasingly carry out their attacks against civilian targets.

The Board found, that after an overall assessment of the country of origin information, the general conditions in Mogadishu have improved, although they continue to be serious and must be characterised as fragile and unpredictable. Further, the changes are not found to be of a temporary nature. According to the country of origin information the conditions in Afgoye are found to be comparable to the situation in Mogadishu. Consequently, the Board found that a deportation of the complainant to Afgoye no longer constitute a violation of Denmark’s international obligations including ECHR article 3.

Regarding the assessment under the Aliens Act article 26 it appears from the parliamentary explanatory notes:

“It will depend on an overall assessment of the foreigner’s circumstances whether the person concerned has obtained such an affiliation to the Danish society that the person’s temporary residence permit should not be revoked or refused extended. This assessment can include e.g. whether the person concerned has connection to the labour market, whether the person concerned is involved in associations, whether the person concerned has acquired basic knowledge of Danish, and whether the person concerned has completed a long-term education program.”

The complainant was born and has lived in Somalia until he left the country at an age of 12. He has not attended school in Somalia, but speaks Somali and has had contact by phone with his mother who resided in Somalia until 2015. He has had legal residence in Denmark for five and a half years after he entered the country at the age of 18. He is healthy and has no relatives in this country. According to his account before the Board it must be assumed that during the past year he has had a cleaning job in Føtex 3 to 4 times a week, 4 to 5 hours each time and at the same time attended 9th and 10th grade and has now started training within storage, logistics and transport. Further, he has worked fulltime at a fish factory during a summer holiday. Apart from this he has passed the “Danish 2” exam and a course in understanding the Danish society. He has, together with others, founded an African culture association, which according to the account promotes integration-enhancing aspects, and he plays football and practices fitness. After an overall assessment of this information the Board finds that a deportation is deemed to be particularly burdensome for the complainant cf. the Aliens Act article 26 (1).

Consequently, the Board reverses the decision of the Danish Immigration Service of 6 April 2017 so that the complainant continues to have subsidiary protection under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (2).

Outcome: 

The applicant was granted continued subsidiary protection under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (2).