ECtHR - K.K. v. France, Application No. 18913/11

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Country of Applicant: 
Iran
Date of Decision: 
10-10-2013
Citation: 
Application No. 18913/11
Court Name: 
Fifth Section; European Court of Human Rights
Headnote: 

The Applicant’s alleged risk of persecution due to his former employment with the Iranian Intelligence Services was found by the Court to be sufficiently credible to give rise to a violation of Article 3 if the Applicant were forcibly returned to Iran. The French authorities’ use of the priority procedure did not however violate Article 13 in the Applicant’s case.

Facts: 

The Applicant is an Iranian national and former member of the Iranian intelligence services (IRS). His retirement from the IRS in 2006 resulted in the authorities allegedly abducting and imprisoning him, hanging him upside down and beating him, and ordering him to re-join the IRS. This caused him to flee to France, where his application for asylum was dismissed and he was detained pending removal.

The Applicant alleged to the ECtHR that his removal to Iran would expose him to treatment contrary to Article 3 (degrading or inhuman treatment), and a Rule 39 Interim Measure requesting temporary suspension of his removal was granted.

The Applicant also alleged that the placing of his asylum application under the priority procedure was a violation of Article 13 (right to effective remedy) in conjunction with Article 3.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Court ruled the situation in Iran as insufficiently serious to prevent all returns.

However, the Court was persuaded by the Applicant's detailed story and documentary evidence of his stance against the IRS and their prosecution of him due to his resignation. The Court found no reasoning in the decisions of the French authorities to justify their doubts about the Applicant's authenticity. The Court also noted the specific risk of detention and questioning faced by returning Iranians, including the Applicant, who previously left Iran unlawfully. The Court therefore found that his removal would violate Article 3.

The Court however did not find a violation of Article 13, due to the Applicant's delay in France before making his application for asylum (2 years) and due to his failure to inform the French authorities that he had already applied for asylum in Greece and the UK. These failures on the Applicant's part warranted his placement under the priority procedure and the consequent reduced time to prepare his application and supporting documents.

Outcome: 

The Applicant’s removal to Iran would constitute a violation of Article 3, but no Article 13 violation was found.

Case Law Cited: 

ECtHR - P.I. v. France, Application No. 37180/10

ECtHR - Sultani v France (Application no. 45223/05) - (UP)

ECtHR - Jabari v Turkey, 11 July 2000, (Application no. 40035/98)

ECtHR - Shamayev v Georgia (April 2005) (Application no. 36378/02)

ECtHR - Conka v Belgium (Application no. 51564/99)

ECtHR - Collins and Akaziebe v Sweden (Application no. 23944/05)

ECtHR - Bati and Others v Turkey, Application No. 33097/96 and 57834/00

ECtHR - Mo P. v. France, Application No. 55787/09

ECtHR - Kudla v Poland [GC], Application No. 30210/96

ECtHR - N. v Sweden, 20 July 2010, no. 23505/09

ECtHR - Klaas v Germany, Application No. 15473/89

ECtHR - S.F. and Others v. Sweden, Application No. 52077/10

ECtHR - H.R. v France, Application No. 64780/09
Other sources cited: 
  • US State Department Human Rights reports dated 8 April 2011 and 24 May 2012;
  • Operational Guidance Note on Iran in October 2012, UK Home Office;
  • Resolution of 17 February 2012, the UN General Assembly (A/RES/66/175);
  • Report of Secretary General of the Organization (A/66/361); Report of Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (A/66/374);
  • World Report published January 22, 2012, Human Rights Watch;
  • Country of Origin Information report of 16 January 2013, UK Home Office;
  • Danish Immigration Service report, published on 26  February 2013, entitled "Iran, is conversion to Christianity, from Regarding Kurds and post-2009 election protestors as well as legal issues and exit procedures”
Authentic Language: 
French
State Party: 
France
National / Other Legislative Provisions: 
France - Ceseda (Code of the Entry and Stay of Foreigners and Asylum Law) - Art L.513-3