Sweden - Migration Court, 25 November 2011, UM 4879-11

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
UM 4879-11
Court Name:
Migration Court (Administrative Court Gothenburg)
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An Ethiopian man was considered eligible for protection as a refugee due to his involvement in the government-hostile OLF guerilla group, which has been declared a terrorist organisation.


The applicant applied for asylum in Sweden on the 18 September 2009. He claimed he was Oromian, that his father had been killed because of his involvement in the Oromos Liberal Front (OLF) and that he himself had been imprisoned, abused and harassed because of his activities fighting for the rights of the Oromian minority. The Migration Board denied the application on the 11 August 2011. The Board did not question that persons attached to the OLF could risk persecution of some kind but found that it was unlikely the authorities would be interested in OLF-members who did not hold prominent positions in the organisation.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Gothenburg Migration Court, however, found that the applicant had presented a detailed and consistant account of his claims to asylum. He was therefore found to have established that it was probable that he was at risk of being persecuted by the authorities if he returned to Ethiopia. The Court based its decision on the COI available, for example reports by Human Rights Watch. As the persecution would be based on the applicant’s political opinions he was to be considered a refugee according to Chapter 4, Section 1 of the Aliens Act.


The Migration Court revoked the decision by the Migration Board.


The case is interesting in a Swedish context with regard to the two Swedish journalists who have been imprisoned in Ethiopia on grounds of terrorism when reporting about the guerrilla groups operating in the country.