Netherlands - AJDCoS, 8 September 2011, 201009178/1/V2

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
08-09-2011
Citation:
201009178/1/V2
Court Name:
Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State
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Headnote: 

The fact that riots took place in poorer neighbourhoods which resulted in sudden police charges to dispel the riots is insufficient for the application of Art 15(c) of the Qualification Directive.

Facts: 

The applicant’s account was found to be implausible because she made different statements about the date of her husband’s death and a visit she had made to England. It was also found to be implausible that she did not know the three names of the women that were also taken into prison and that she was released after an interrogation, while she was wanted by the police. The application was therefore rejected. The District Court quashed this decision at appeal. The Minister of Immigration and Asylum appealed against the ruling of the District Court Rotterdam of 19 August 2010 (AWB 09/15346).

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Council of State held that the District Court wrongfully considered that the Minister could not find the asylum account plausible. The Council of State held that the applicant did not put forward any grounds of appeal against the specific reasons on which the Minister did not find the asylum account to be plausible.

The applicant’s claim that she could not return to Zimbabwe and argued Art 15(c) of the Qualification Directive grounds.

The Council of State referred to case C-465/07 of the Court of Justice EU of 17 February 2009 (Elgafaji vs. Staatssecretaris van Justitie) and held that Art 15(c) of the Qualification Directive is only applicable in extraordinary cases in which the degree of indiscriminate violence characterising the armed conflict reaches such a high level that substantial grounds are shown for believing that a civilian would, solely on account of presence, face a real risk of being subject to a serious threat.

The Council of State then held that the applicant made a reference to the travel advice of the Minister of Foreign Affairs concerning Zimbabwe dated 1 December 2009. It concluded that this travel advice described that in the poor neighborhoods riots take place and sudden police charges may take place. However, it did not follow from this that the level of indiscriminate violence was so high that substantial grounds were shown for believing that a civilian would, solely on account of presence, face a real risk of being subject to a serious threat. The Minister could therefore conclude that the applicant had not substantiated that such a situation existed in Zimbabwe at that moment.

Outcome: 

The appeal of the Minister was allowed.