Denmark - The Refugee Appeals Board’s decision of 5 April 2017

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
05-04-2017
Court Name:
The Refugee Appeals Board
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Headnote: 

The applicant, an ethnic Ingush and a Muslim from Ingushetia, Russia, feared her former husband and his family. She feared they would take her daughter away from her because she ran away with her child. Moreover, the applicant feared her eldest brother as he would marry her off to an elderly man and take her child away and hand the child over to her former husband.

The Refugee Appeals Board did not find that the conflicts between the applicant and her family members were of such nature and intensity to fall under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7. Consequently, the Board upheld the Danish Immigration Service’s decision to refuse the application.

Facts: 

The applicant, born in 1985, is an ethnic Ingush and a Muslim from Ingushetia, Russia.

She entered Denmark in December 2012 and applied for refugee status. The applicant, who was required to be transferred to France under Dublin fled  to Sweden and was returned to Denmark. Subsequently, she voluntarily returned to Russia.

The applicant entered Denmark again in July 2016 and applied for refugee status. The applicant stated that she feared if she returned to her country of origin she would be killed by her eldest brother as she had refused to marry an elderly man. The applicant also feared her ex-husband and his family as they would take her child from her. In support of her application, the applicant stated that at one time her father’s brother ran down the father of her former husband killing him. Subsequently, the family of her former husband started chasing her father’s brother to revenge the killing. As they could not find her father’s brother, the applicant was kidnapped by her former husband, she was then 19.  Her former husband raped her, and consequently her elder brother refused to have her back. The applicant was subjected to an attempt of forced marriage, a death threat from her brother and fled to Moscow where she was located again by her brother.

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

The Refugee Appeals Board upheld the decision of the Danish Immigration Service on 5 April 2017.

On 10 April 2017, the applicant lodged a complaint to CEDAW and applied for urgent interim measures.

On 12 May 2017, CEDAW admitted the complaint and requested the state party to refrain from expelling the applicant while the complaint was under consideration by the Committee.

On 24 May 2017, the state party accepted the Committee’s request.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Refugee Appeals Board found the applicant’s account convincing to the effect that she feared her former husband and his family. She feared they would take her daughter away from her because she ran away with her child. Moreover, that the applicant feared her eldest brother as he would marry her off to an elderly man and take her child away and hand her over to her former husband.

However, the Board did not find that such conflicts between her and her family members were of such a nature and intensity to fall under the Danish Aliens Act Art. 7.

Regarding the applicant’s conflict with her former husband and his family the Board attached importance to the fact that none of them had made any attempts to seek out the applicant after she left her former husband allegedly in 2013/2014, although he knew where she was staying.

In respect of the conflict with the applicant’s elder brother the Board has attached importance to the fact that he did not look for her after she had fled to Moscow in spite of the fact that he found out that she was staying in Moscow after she had been there for seven or eight months. Furthermore, the Board attached importance to the fact that according to the applicant’s statement she stayed at the same place for one more month before leaving. Moreover, the Board refers to the fact that her elder brother did not look for her younger brother who had assisted the applicant in leaving. Apparently, the elder brother had earlier threatened him and knew where he was staying. Furthermore, the Board points out that on inquiry about this fact, the applicant explained that it was now some time ago and her elder brother had calmed down.

Thus, the Board did not accept that the applicant’s elder brother should have been behind an assault on her in Sandholmlejren and that he should have been able to find her or wanted to search for her.

Furthermore, the Board found that it was a criminal case which does not justify refugee status or subsidiary protection in Denmark, and that the applicant must notify the crime to the police.

The Board has attached importance to the fact that – before the applicant left Denmark in October 2014 – she withdrew her application for asylum mainly justified by the same facts as the present application.

Finally, as the general situation in Ingushetia is not of such a severe nature that it could justify asylum, the Board did not find that the applicant had rendered probable that on return to Russia she would risk being persecuted individually cf. the Danish Aliens Act Section 7 (1) or being exposed to serious harm cf. the Danish Aliens Act Section 7 (2). Consequently, the Board upheld the Danish Immigration Service’s decision.

Outcome: 

The Danish Immigration Service’s decision to reject the application was upheld.

Subsequent Proceedings : 

The applicant’s complaint to CEDAW is pending the Committee’s decision.