Switzerland - Federal Administrative Court, 13 October 2017, D-5800/2016

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
13-10-2017
Citation:
D-5800/2016
Court Name:
Federal Administrative Court
National / Other Legislative Provisions:
Switzerland - Art. 44
105
108 Abs. 1 AsylG
Switzerland - Art. 83 Abs. 1; 84 Abs. 2
Abs. 7; 112 AuG
Switzerland - Art. 48 Abs. 1
52 Abs. 1
65 Abs. 1 VwVG
Switzerland - Art. 5
31
32
33
37 VGG
Switzerland - Art. 83 Bst. d Ziff. 1 BGG
Switzerland - Art. 9-13
14 Abs. 2 VGKE
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Headnote: 

Kabul cannot be considered as a reasonable internal flight alternative for the complainant due to the lack of a sustainable social network for him there and no other particular factors which would enable the applicant's removal . Therefore the complainant does not meet the requirements for a removal to Afghanistan.

Facts: 

The complainant, an Afghan national and ethnic Hazara, was born in Kabul, where he spent the first year of his life. The family moved to the province of Ghazni afterwards. The complainant was only enrolled at school for two years and after the death of his father he had to support his family. He left Afghanistan and applied for asylum in Switzerland on the grounds that he was threatened by the Taliban and IS, and his mother and two sisters had since left to either Kabul or another province in Ghazni and he has little contact with them. His asylum application was refused by the Swiss authorities due to contradictory statements as to his family’s whereabouts. The State further found that given the presence of family members in Kabul he has a social network there that he can rely upon. Moreover, he is a young, healthy and single man who had repeatedly demonstrated his ability to work. There is, thus, no impediment to his return. The applicant appealed this decision to the Federal Administrative Court on grounds that he belonged to a threatened minority, his family had cut off contact with him, it was too dangerous for him to live in Ghazni alone and there was no reasonable internal flight alternative available to him in Kabul. 

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Federal Administrative Court first summarises its previous case law from 2011 in respect of several regions of Afghanistan. The Court notes that information on the security situation in Afghanistan may quickly lose its validity due to the dynamics of the conflict, media outlets becoming targets of attacks, little reliable information on the number of victims and numerous reports, such as the 2016 EASO report, relying on a few anonymised sources. As such, the Court conducts a new detailed analysis of the prevailing situation stating that the overall security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated since 2011. It concludes that a removal to wide parts of Afghanistan is still not reasonable due to the unchanged worrying security situation and difficult humanitarian conditions which are be qualified as life-threatening in the sense of Art. 83 para. 4 Foreign National Act and that the execution of deportations must therefore continue to be judged unreasonable.

The Court, however, notes that the security situation and the general humanitarian situation in Kabul must be analysed separately, most notably since case law dating from 2011 found returns to Kabul as being reasonable. Nonetheless, in recent years, the Court highlights that there has been a significant increase in attacks in the urban centres, particularly in Kabul, with a high number of civilians often falling victim to the attacks. Thus, the Court finds that the situation in Kabul is life-threatening and that a removal to Kabul is, in principle, not reasonable within the meaning of Article 83 (4) of Foreign National Act . However, the Court states that in exceptional cases a removal to Kabul could be reasonable if there were particular factors enabling it (healthy single young men with a sustainable social network, a possibility to secure minimal subsistence needs and a stable housing situation). In this respect, the Court notes that the reasonability of the expulsion to Kabul is subject to strict criteria, which have to be examined on a case-by-case basis.

The Court concludes that the applicant's removal to Kabul is not reasonable since there is no sustainable social network and no other particular factors which would enable the applicant's removal. The applicant is, therefore, granted a provisional admission in Switzerland.

 

Outcome: 

Appeal granted and the complainant is granted temporary admission in Switzerland.

Observations/Comments: 

This ruling can be regarded as a new leading decision concerning the current security situation in Afghanistan.

 

This case summary was written by Laura ThimmBraun.

Other sources cited: 

 

  • – Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), Report on Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan in 1394, 01.08.2016, < www.aihrc.org.af/media/files/Research%20Reports/english/Report%20on%20Ci... ualties_1394_English.pdf > (zit. AIHRC, Report)
  • -  Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD), ecoi.net-Themendossier zu Afghanistan: Allgemeine Sicherheitslage in Afghanistan & Chronologie für Kabul, letzte Aktualisierung 16. November 2016, < www.ecoi.net/news/188769::afgha nistan/101.allgemeine-sicherheitslage-in-afghanistan-chronologie-fuer- kabul.htm > (zit. ACCORD, Chronologie)
  • –  ACCORD, Afghanistan; Dokumentation des Expertengespräches mit Thomas Ruttig und Michael Daxner vom 4. Mai 2016, 06.2016, < www.ecoi.net/file_upload/90_1466684031_dokumentation-coi-seminar- afg-20160623.pdf > (zit. ACCORD, Expertengespräch)
  • –  Bertelsmann Stiftung, BTI 2016 – Afghanistan Country Report, 29.02.2016, < www.bti-project.org/fileadmin/files/BTI/Downloads/Reports/2016/pdf/ BTI_2016_Afghanistan.pdf > (zit. BTI 2016)
  • –  Central Statistics Organisation (CSO), Estimated Population of Kabul City by District and Sex 2016-17, undatiert, < www.cso.gov.af/en/page/demography -and-socile-statistics/demograph-statistics/3897111 > (zit. CSO)
  • –  Danish Refugee Council, Understand and protect Afghan refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, 10.2016, < drc.dk/media/2799644/understand-and- protect-afghan-refugees-asylum-seekers-and-immigrants-final-ny.pdf > (zit. DRC, Understand)
  • –  EASO, EASO Country of Origin Information Report, Afghanistan, Security Situation, 11.2016, < www.ecoi.net/file_ upload/90_1479191564_2016-11-09-easo-afghanistan-security- situation.pdf > (zit. EASO 2016)
  • –  Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, Conflict Barometer 2016, < www.hiik.de/de/konfliktbarometer/pdf/ConflictBarometer_2016.pdf > (zit. Conflict Barometer 2016)
  • –  HRW, Pakistan Coercion, UN Complicity – The Mass Forced Return of Afghan Refugees, 02.2017, < www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report _pdf/pakistan0217_web.pdf > (zit. HWR, Return)
  • –  HRW, World Report 2017 – Afghanistan, 12.01.2017, < www.hrw.org/sites/ default/files/afghanistan_1.pdf > (zit. HRW, World Report)
  • –  HRW, "Today We Shall All Die" – Afghanistan’s Strongmen and the Legacy of Impunity, 03.2015, < www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/ afghanistan0315_4up.pdf > (zit. HRW, Strongmen)
  • Human Rights Watch [HRW], Afghanistan: Security Forces Assault Reporters, 01.09.2016, < www.hrw.org/news/ 2016/09/01/afghanistan-security-forces-assault-reporters >
  • –  Institute for the Study of War (ISW), The Taliban Resurgent, 03.2015, < www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/AFGH%20Report.pdf > (zit. ISW, Resurgent)
  • –  International Crisis Group, The Economic Disaster Behind Afghanistan’s Mounting Human Crisis, 03.10.2016, < www.crisisgroup.org/asia/south- asia/afghanistan/economic-disaster-behind-afghanistan-s-mounting-human- crisis > (zit. ICG 2016)
  • –  Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), Zeitenwende am Hindukusch, 01.2015, < www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_40191-544-1-30.pdf?150126103209 > (zit. KAS)
  • –  Landinfo, Report Hazaras and Afghan insurgent groups, 03.10.2016, < www.landinfo.no/asset/3483/1/3483_1.pdf > (zit. Landinfo, Hazara)
  • –  Landinfo, Afghanistan: Sikkerhetssituasjonen i provinsen Kabul, 25.11.2016, < www.landinfo.no/asset/3471/1/3471_1.pdf > (zit. Landinfo)
  • –  NATO, Resolut Support Mission – Troop Contributing Nations, 06.2016, < www.rs.nato.int/images//20160614_2016-06-rsm-placemat.pdf > (zit. NATO, Mission)
  • –  Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Listening to Women and Girls Displaced to Urban Afghanistan, 01.2015, < www.nrc.no/globalassets/ pdf/reports/listening-to-women-and-girls-displaced-to-urban- afghanistan.pdf > (zit. NRC, Urban)
  • –  Oxford Analytica Daily Brief, Afghan Taliban contain Islamic State's regional reach, 17.11.2015 (zit. Oxford)
  • –  Qantara, Die ungebrochene Macht der Milizen und Warlords, 16.08.2016, < de.qantara.de/inhalt/kampf-gegen-die-taliban-in-afghanistan-die- ungebrochene-macht-der-milizen-und-warlords > (zit. Qantara, Warlords)
  • –  Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), The Changing Face Of Kabul: After Years Of Foreign-Fueled Growth, An Uncertain Future, 13.06.2016, < www.rferl.org/a/changing-face-of-kabul-uncertain-fututure-foreign-troops- leaving/27795414.html > (zit. RFE/RL, Changing)
  • –  The Long War Journal, Rival Taliban factions clash in western Afghanistan, 08.12.2015, < www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/12/rival-taliban- factions-clash-in-western-afghanistan.php > (zit. LWJ, Rival Taliban)
  • –  United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Midyear Report 2016 – Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, 09.2016, < unama.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/protection_of_civilians _in_armed_conflict_midyear_report_2016_final_rev.1-9sept.pdf > (zit. UNAMA, Midyear Report)
  • –  UNAMA, Un Chief In Afghanistan Renews Call for Parties to Protect Civilians – UNAMA Releases Civilian Casualty Data for Third Quarter of 2016, 19.10.2016, < unama.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/19_october _2016_-_un_chief_in_afghanistan_renews_call_for_parties_to_protect_ civilians_english.pdf > (zit. UNAMA, Chief)
  • –  UNAMA/ Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict – Annual Report 2016, 02.2017, < unama.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/protection_of_civilians_ in_armed_conflict_annual_report_march_2016_final.pdf > (zit. UNAMA/ OHCHR, Annual Report 2016)
  • –  United Nations (UN) General Assembly / UN Security Council, The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security - Report of the Secretary-General (A/71/682–S/2016/1049), 13.12.2016, < www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2016/1049 > (zit. UN GA, Report I)
  • –  UN General Assembly / UN Security Council, The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security - Report of the Secretary-General (A/70/924–S/2016/532), 10.06.2016, < www.un.org/ga/ search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/70/924 > (zit. UN GA, Report II)
  • –  UN OCHA, Internal Displacement due to Conflict, 04.12.2016, < www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/operations/afghanistan/idps > (zit. UN OCHA, IDP)
  • –  UN OCHA, Afghanistan: Overview of the Humanitarian Access, Emergency Response Preparedness Review (July to Dec 2016), 10.11.2016, < www.humanitarianresponse.info/system/files/documents/files/afg_erp_revi ew_july-dec2016_physical_access_all_2016nov10.pdf > (zit. UN OCHA, Acces)
  • –  UN OCHA, Summary of KIS winter Needs Assessment, Approach and Interventions, 01.02.2016, < www.humanitarianresponse.info/system/files/ documents/files/kis_needs_assessment_-_summary_of_results_draft- updated.pdf > (zit. UN OCHA, KIS)
  • –  UNHCR, UNHCR Eligibility Guidelines for Assessing the International Protection Needs of Asylum-Seekers from Afghanistan, 19.04.2016, < www.ecoi.net/file_upload/ 1930_1461054450_570f96564.pdf > (zit. UNHCR, Guidelines)
  • –  UNHCR Task Force on the Kabul Informal Settlements, Post-Distribution Monitoring Survey Report – Winter Assistance 2014/2015, < reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/pdm_kis_2015_- _final_report.pdf > (zit. UNHCR, KIS)
  • –  UN-World Food Programm, WFP Afghanistan – Country Brief, 08.2016, < reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Afghanistan%20CB%20Aug ust_OIM.pdf > (zit. WFP Afghanistan)
  • –  Worldbank, Afghanistan, Overview, 02.11.2016, < www.worldbank.org/ en/country/afghanistan/overview > (zit. Wordbank, Overview)
  • –  Worldbank, Afghanistan Development Update, 04.2016, < documents.world bank.org/curated/en/953921468196145402/pdf/104871-WP-P158556- PUBLIC-AFG-Development-Update-April-2016-final.pdf > (zit. Worldbank, Update)

Conflict Barometer 2016, S. 13 und 171 ff.

ACCORD, Expertengespräch, S. 24 f; Chronologie

Oxford; Landinfo, Hazara, S. 22 ff

BTI 2016, S. 5

UNHCR Guidelines, S. 16

KAS, S. 76

UN GA, Report I und II

UNAMA/OHCHR, Annual Report 2016, S. 10 ff., 17

UNAMA, Chief

AIHRC, Report, S. 12 f.

ICG 2016

HRW, World Report, S. 1 ff.

WFP Afghanistan

Landinfo, S. 10; UN- AMA, Midyear Report, S. 7; ISW, Resurgent, S. 19

UN-HABITAT Definition

NRC, Urban, S. 10; UNHCR, KIS, S. 2; UN OCHA, KIS, S. 2; RFE/RL, Changing; HRW, Return, S. 55 ff.

 

 

 

Case Law Cited: 

Switzerland - BVGE 2014/26 E. 5; BVGE 2009/51 E. 5.4; BVGE 2011/24 E. 10.2, BVGE 2011/7; 2011/38; 2011/49), BVGE 2011/38 E. 4.3.3, BVG E-2060/2016 from 2. August 2016