ECtHR – Asady and others v. Slovakia, Application no. 24917/15, 24 March 2020

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionPDF version of SummaryPDF version of Summary
Country of Applicant: 
Date of Decision: 
Asady and others v. Slovakia, Application no. 24917/15, 24 March 2020
Court Name: 
European Court of Human Rights – Third Section
Relevant Legislative Provisions: 
European Union Law > EN - Treaty on European Union > Article 2
European Union Law > EN - Treaty on European Union > Article 6
Council of Europe Instruments > ECHR (Fourth Protocol)
Council of Europe Instruments > ECHR (Fourth Protocol) > Art 4

The standardised nature of the questions to the applicants and similarities in the responses recorded do not necessarily indicate a lack of individualised assessment. The applicants were not deprived of an opportunity to submit arguments against their expulsion and did not make any claim of persecution risks in their country of origin. No collective expulsion under Article 4 Protocol 4 has been established.

Similarly, no violation of Article 4 Protocol 4 in conjunction with Article 13 has been established, as the claim cannot be considered arguable.


The applicants were apprehended by Slovak police forces aboard a vehicle following a police patrol. None of them had any documents, so they were all taken to a border police station for identification along with thirteen other persons who are not applicants in this case.

Following an identification procedure in the presence of an interpreter, the police produced several documents that were signed by the applicants and included statements of non-persecution in their country of origin as well as of a journey that was prompted by economic reasons. They had also answered negatively when they were asked whether they wanted to apply for asylum. In contrast, twelve of the thirteen people taken to the police station along with the applicants had asked for asylum and were subsequently transferred to a reception centre.

Following these procedures, the applicants were handed decisions ordering their administrative expulsion to Ukraine, including an entry ban to Slovakia. The decisions did not foresee voluntary departure and they did not allow for a suspensive effect of the remedy for reasons of public interest. The documents indicated an identical wording of the expulsion decisions, administrative contradictions regarding the way interviews were conducted, as well as standardised recording of the applicants’ answers. They were returned on the same day. While in Ukraine, four of the applicants appealed against the expulsion decisions but their appeals were dismissed.

The applicants lodged a complaint before the Court alleging a violation of Article 4 Protocol 4, on its own and in conjunction with Article 13.

Decision & Reasoning: 

Article 4 Protocol 4

The Court started by reiterating its case law on Article 4 Protocol 4, regarding the level of individuality required by this provision, the challenges that European states face in managing migration, and the respect for Convention obligations (paras. 57-59). In the present case, the Court noted that the existence of identical decisions does not per se suggest a violation of Article 4 Protocol 4, according to its case law, while the standardises nature could be attributed to the fact that the applicants did not submit any specific statements regarding any risks in Ukraine (para. 61). Moreover, by reference to its judgment in N.D. and N.T. the Court emphasised that Slovakia had allowed them to access its territory through a border procedure; the issue at stake is whether during that procedure they were given an opportunity to raise concerns on the consequences of  their return to Ukraine (para. 62).

Regarding the alleged improper conduct of interviews, the Court considered that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that administrative errors in recording the interview times indicated a lack of individualised procedure. Moreover, as stated above, Article 4 Protocol 4 does not require an individual interview in every situation (para. 64). The Court considered that the similar answers of the applicants are reasonable, as they were travelling together as a group and their journeys might have been similar. Moreover, the fact that in each interview every applicant is found to possess different amounts of money further indicates an individualised procedure. The short duration of the interviews could further be attributed to the absence of any answers requiring a more thorough attention (para. 66).

Lastly, there is no reason to believe that the applicants’ statements were not properly translated and recorded, or that their asylum requests were ignored. The applicants did not provide any arguments refuting the recorded statements or alleging fear of persecution in their country of origin (paras. 67-68), while twelve people from the same group were transferred to a reception centre following their requests for asylum (para. 69). The Court found that Article 4 of Protocol 4 had not been violated.

Article 4 Protocol 4 in conjunction with Article 13

As the applicants’ expulsion was not collective under Article 4 Protocol 4 and the applicants were not effectively prevented from applying for asylum, meaning that there is no arguable claim for the purposes of Article 13 (paras. 74-75).


1. Decides, by a majority, to strike the application out of its list in so far as it concerns Mr Zabi Asady, Mr Farid Ahmad Ahmadi, Mr Ali Ahmadi, Mr Nasir Ahangarzada, Mr Ali Ahmad Ali Zada, Mr Salman Faqiri, Mr Sohrab Faqiri, Mr Mohamad Farid Ekhlas, Mr Edris Yusufi, Mr Bezhan Rahimi, Mr Miramza Sidiqi and Mr Rahim Rahimi;

2.  Decides, unanimously, not to strike the application out of its list in so far as it concerns the other applicants;

3.  Declares, unanimously, the complaint under Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 admissible;

4.  Declares, by a majority, the remainder of the application inadmissible;

5.  Holds, by four votes to three, that there has been no violation of Article 4 of Protocol No. 4.


Issues of admissibility

The case was stricken out for applicants no. 1, 2, 3, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 as there was insufficient evidence to establish the applicants whereabouts and their constant contact no subsequent contact with their legal representative had been proven.

Regarding applicants no. 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12, the Court dismissed the government’s objection regarding the exhaustion of remedies because they had failed to appeal against the administrative decisions of expulsion. The Court noted that there is no reason to expect that they would have received a different outcome to the one decided for applicants no. 1, 2, 3 and 4, who managed to lodge appeals on time. Moreover, it emphasised the difficulties that the applicants faced in accessing a lawyer following their return to Ukraine, which rendered an appeal within the 15-day time limit impossible.

Other sources cited: 
Authentic Language: 
State Party: 
National / Other Legislative Provisions: 
Articles 17 (1)
18 (3) and (4) of Law no. 171/1993 Coll.
as amended
Article 3
Law no. 480/2002 Coll.
as amended (Asylum Act)
Articles 77
83 of Law no. 404/2011 Coll.
as amended (Aliens Act)
Articles 53
54 of Law no. 71/1967 Coll.
as amended (Administrative Proceedings Act)