ECtHR - T.K.H. v. Sweden, Application No. 1231/11

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Country of Applicant: 
Date of Decision: 
Application No. 1231/11
Court Name: 
Fifth Section; European Court of Human Rights
Relevant Legislative Provisions: 

The seven year time lapse since the Sunni Muslim Applicant’s former service in the Iraqi army, no evidence of future risk arising from previous injuries, and no medical reasons preventing return, led the majority to find that return to Iraq would not violate the applicants rights under Articles 2 or 3.


The Applicant, a Sunni Muslim from Iraq, faced deportation from Sweden back to Iraq, on account of his asylum claim having been rejected in 2010, three years after his arrival. T.K.H. served in the new Iraqi army from 2003 to 2006, was allegedly seriously injured in both a suicide bomb explosion and a drive-by shooting outside his home, and purported to be the recipient of death threats.He fled Iraq and relies on his rights under Articles 2 and 3 to resist his return. 

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Court first declared the general situation in Iraq to be not sufficiently serious to warrant the conclusion that any return to Iraq would violate Article 3 irrespective of personal circumstances.

No violation of Article 2 or 3 was found in relation to T.K.H. Regarding the Applicant’s particular situation, the Court noted that his service in the Iraqi army ended over seven years ago, and therefore no longer formed the basis of a risk of persecution. As to the two incidents of serious injury, the Court concluded that the first had not resulted from the Applicant being specifically targeted and the second was a historical incident with no evidence to suggest any future risk. The Court also regarded T.K.H.’s medical problems as neither untreatable in Iraq nor prohibitive of air travel.

Two judges of the Court dissented from the majority opinion, on account of the Applicant’s former employment placing him in a specific risk category, the escalating violence in Iraq in 2013, and the overall plausibility of his account.


No risk of violation of Articles 2 or 3.

Case Law Cited: 

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

ECtHR - N v United Kingdom (Application no. 26565/05)

ECtHR - Mamatkulov Askarov v Turkey, Applications nos. 46827/99 and 46951/99

ECtHR - Hilal v United Kingdom, Application no. 45276/99

ECtHR - F.H. v Sweden (Application no. 32621/06)

ECtHR - Üner v. the Netherlands [GC], Application No. 46410/99

ECtHR - Boujlifa v. France, 21 October 1997, § 42, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1997-VI

ECtHR - Kaboulov v. Ukraine, Application No. 41015/04

ECtHR - Abdulaziz, Cabales and Balkandali v. the United Kingdom, Application Nos. 9214/80, 9473/81 and 9474/81

UK - HM and others (Article 15(c)) Iraq CG, [2012] UKUT 00409 (IAC)

ECtHR - P.Z. and Others and B.Z. v. Sweden, Application Nos. 68194/10 and 74352/11

ECtHR - Hakizimana v. Sweden, Application No. 37913/05
Other sources cited: 
  • 31 May 2012 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Eligibility Guidelines for Assessing the International Protection Needs of Asylum-Seekers from Iraq;
  • Report on Human Rights in Iraq: July – December 2012, published in June 2013, Human Rights Office of the United Nations Mission for Iraq (UNAMI);
  • UK Border Agency Iraq Operational Guidance Note of December 2012.
Authentic Language: 
State Party: 
National / Other Legislative Provisions: 
Sweden - Utlänningslagen (Aliens Act) (2005:716) - Chapter 4 Section 1
Sweden - Utlänningslagen (Aliens Act) (2005:716) - Chapter 4 Section 2
Sweden - Utlänningslagen (Aliens Act) (2005:716) - Chapter 5 Section 1
Sweden - Utlänningslagen (Aliens Act) (2005:716) - Chapter 5 Section 6
Sweden - Utlänningslagen (Aliens Act) (2005:716) - Chapter 12 Section 1
Sweden - Utlänningslagen (Aliens Act) (2005:716) - Chapter 12 Section 2
Sweden - Utlänningslagen (Aliens Act) (2005:716) - Chapter 12 Section 18
Sweden - Utlänningslagen (Aliens Act) (2005:716) - Chapter 12 Section 19
Sweden - Government Bill 2004/05:170 - pp. 190-191