Denmark - the Refugee Appeals Board’s decision of 25 January 2017

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
25-01-2017
Court Name:
The Refugee Appeals Board
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Headnote: 

The applicant, an ethnic Arab and a Sunni Muslim from Baghdad, who had worked in a firm with foreign connections in the Green Zone, had received threats from a Shia militia and his brother was abducted during a search for him at his home.

The Board found that the applicant, if returned to Iraq, was in real risk of suffering serious harm.

The Board did not find reason for granting refugee status under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (1). The Board therefore granted subsidiary protection under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (2).

Facts: 

The applicant, born in 1985, is an ethnic Arab and a Sunni Muslim from Baghdad, Iraq. He entered Denmark in December 2014 and applied for refugee status. He stated that he feared if he returned to Iraq he would be killed by the Shia militia Asaieb Ahe Alhaq because he is a Sunni Muslim and has worked in the Green Zone in Baghdad. He also fears the Shia militia Alhashed Alshabi because they kill Sunni Muslims. In support of his application regarding his fear for the Shia militia, Asaieb Ahe Alhaq, he referred to a phone call in the summer of 2014, which he assumed came from a representative of the militia and in which his life was threatened. That same day a work colleague and friend, [A], also received a phone call threatening A. [Three days later] [A] was kidnapped. That same day the applicant left his home and stayed with a friend who lived not far from the applicant’s home. [The following day] [A] was found dead in a container. The applicant assumed that a Shia militia was behind the abduction and killing of [A]. [Two days later] a group of men in police uniforms came to the applicant’s home and as the applicant was not at home they abducted the applicant’s younger brother. The applicant assumed that the militia was behind the abduction and the militias and the authorities had collaborated. [Four days later] the applicant legally left Iraq from Baghdad’s International Airport.

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

Decision & Reasoning: 

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

The board accepted that the applicant is a Sunni Muslim and in [the summer] 2014 worked in a firm with foreign connections situated in the Green Zone where the USA controlled the accessibility and issued ID cards. The Board noted that the applicant had presented several documents for the documentation of his terms of employment as well as ID documents. The applicant’s account of the threat from an unknown person, who according to the applicant represented a Shia militia, had been consistent and trustworthy. The Board also emphasised that the applicant’s younger brother was abducted from the home during the search for the applicant. As the threat came shortly before his departure and in part was based on the applicant’s employment and that [A], the applicants colleague and friend, received a similar threat the same day and immediately after was abducted and killed, the Board found that the applicant in the case of returning to Iraq would be in real risk of suffering serious harm covered by the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (2). The Board did not find reason for granting refugee status under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (1). The Board therefore granted subsidiary protection under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (2).

Outcome: 

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

Observations/Comments: 

The Board did not give reasons for not granting refugee status under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7 (1), in spite of the applicant being persecuted on the ground of imputed political opinion.