ECtHR - AL.K. v Greece (no. 63542/11) [Article 3, 5 para 1 and 4, 13], 11 December 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

The facts of the case relate to an Iranian national who notwithstanding the lodging of an asylum application had been detained at both Feres and Soufli border posts following an order of expulsion and an assessment that he risked absconding. After 6 months in detention (the maximum amount of time allowed to detain in Greek domestic legislation) he was later released but lived on the streets, unable to find work or receive a fiscal number due to his “receipt” for asylum only being renewed for a period of 3 months.

Referring once more to previous case law and international reports documenting inhuman treatment at both Soufli and Feres border posts, the Court concluded a violation of article 3 which also related to the inhumane conditions following the applicant’s release. In this regard the Court made reference to both M.S.S and Tarakhel v Switzerland and highlighted the vulnerability of asylum seekers and the lack of essential provisions leading to degrading and humiliating conditions in Greece. The Court further noted the difficulty associated with renewing the asylum “receipt” and the lack of practical use of a “pink card” given the lack of accommodation places and hurdles associated with the employment system.

With regards to both Article 5 and 13 the Court held that the applicant had not adhered to the 6 month time limit specified in the Rules of the Court.

Based on an unofficial ELENA translation.

12 December 2014                                      

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Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment