CAT: Committee Against Torture rules against deportation of persecuted Christian to China

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

On the 31st August, the Committee Against Torture adopted its decision on a case brought against Switzerland concerning a Chinese national’s risk of ill-treatment upon return to China. The complainant arrived in Switzerland with a valid Schengen visa and passport subsequent to the Chinese authorities discovering her conversion to Christianity. After three months in the country, the complainant applied for asylum but was rejected on the basis that her claims were stereotypical, evasive and contrary to logic and general experience. She appealed this decision but her request for judicial assistance was rejected and her appeal was found inadmissible as she was unable to pay the procedural fees.

The applicant submitted to the CAT that if returned to China she would risk arrest and torture. The Committee disagreed with the State Party that the applicant was not credible and found the testimony she attempted to submit in her appeal as sufficient affirmation of her adherence to Christianity. Furthermore, the Committee found that, in the particular circumstances and facts of the case alongside the applicant’s personal and family situation, it is reasonable to assume that her removal to China would put her at risk of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In addition, the Committee’s Concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of China also reveal an increasing incidence of persecution of Christians in China. Therefore, it follows that the deportation of the applicant without providing her an exhaustive access to the State Party’s remedies would constitute a breach of Article 3 of the Convention.

With many thanks to Centre Suisse pour la Défense des Droits des Migrants (CSDM) for bringing this case to the attention of the EWLU team

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.