ECtHR - X v. The Netherlands, Application no. 14319/17, 10 July 2018

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Country of Applicant: 
Morocco
Date of Decision: 
10-07-2018
Citation: 
X v. The Netherlands (Application no. 14319/17), ECHR 2018
Court Name: 
European Court of Human Rights (Third Section)
Headnote: 

Article 3 has not been violated in a case concerning the deportation of an individual who had been convicted of a terrorism-related charge to Morocco. However the ECtHR acknowledges that ill-treatment and torture by the police and the security forces still occur, particularly in the case of persons suspected of terrorism or of endangering State security.

Facts: 

The applicant was arrested in 2015 on terrorism-related charges and sentenced to twelve months’ imprisonment. His asylum application was rejected on several instances.

He complained before the ECtHR that his removal to Morocco would put him at risk of being subjected to treatment in breach of Article 3 ECHR, given that the Moroccan authorities would be aware of his conviction for terrorism-related crimes in the Netherlands, his association with a dismantled Moroccan militant cell and his asylum application.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The ECtHR relied upon available country of origin information on Morocco, such as the findings of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the observations of the UN Human Rights Committee, and affirmed that ill-treatment and torture by the police and the security forces still occur, particularly in the case of persons suspected of terrorism or of endangering State security. Nevertheless, the Court does not find there to be a general and systematic practice of torture and ill-treatment, which is to be determined based on the specific situation of the person concerned.

In the applicant’s case, while it must be assumed that the Moroccan authorities are aware of the nature of the applicant’s conviction in the Netherlands, nothing in the case materials indicate that the Moroccan authorities have ever taken any steps demonstrating an interest in the applicant, or that the Moroccan judicial authorities would fail to respect the principle of ne bis in idem by prosecuting the applicant in Morocco as a terrorist because of his conviction in the Netherlands. Therefore, the Court found that the assessment by the domestic authorities was adequate and sufficiently supported by reliable and objective material and that the applicant’s removal to Morocco would not result in a violation of Article 3 ECHR.

 

Outcome: 

No violation of Article 3.

Other sources cited: 

Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Mission to Morocco, 4 August 2014, UN doc. A/HRC/27/48/Add.5

United Nations Human Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report on Morocco, adopted on 2 November 2016, UN doc. CCPR/C/MAR/CO/6

The US Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2016, Morocco (released on 3 March 2017

Danish Immigration Service, Report on the “Risk of Double Jeopardy in Morocco”, 21 March 2017

 

Authentic Language: 
English
State Party: 
Netherlands
National / Other Legislative Provisions: 
Netherlands - Criminal Code (Wetboek van Strafrecht) Article 134a
Netherlands - Aliens Act 2000 (Vreemdelingenwet 2000): Sections 28
29
30b
66a
66b
91(2)
Netherlands - Act on the Council of State (Wet op de Raad van State): Sections 41 and 42