ICCPR: No risk of ill-treatment due to author’s sexual orientation in the event of deportation to Nigeria

Thursday, May 28, 2020

On 28 May 2020, the Human Rights Committee published its views (CCPR/C/128/D/3300/2019) on the forced return of the author to Nigeria and the risk of treatment contrary to Article 7 ICCPR due to the author’s sexual orientation.

The author, a Nigerian citizen, applied for asylum in Sweden in 2015, alleging a well-founded risk of persecution by Boko Haram, later rejected. In 2016, he submitted a second claim based on his sexual orientation. This was also dismissed due to the lack of credibility and coherence. In 2018, a second request of re-examination was submitted, attaching newspaper articles concerning his personal story and sexual orientation. The Migration Agency refused to reopen the case, considering that the new evidence could have not changed the previous assessment as, inter alia, the author had never proven his identity and the newspaper articles could not be linked to his person.

The Committee recalled that the risk established under article 7 of the Covenant must be one that is personal and that the threshold of this risk is high. It added that considerable weight should be given to the evaluation carried out by the State parties unless the assessment was found to be clearly arbitrary or amounted to a manifested error or denial of justice. In this sense, the Committee found that Swedish authorities assessed repeatedly the case and the author was not able to prove how refusing a second re-examination amounted to a denial of justice. For these reasons, the Committee concluded that the author’s return to Nigeria would not represent a violation of article 7 of the Covenant.

Thank you to Francesca Zalambani, Legal Assistant at ECRE, for assisting us with the summary. Photo: GPA Photo Archive, September 2010, Flickr (CC).

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.                               

Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Sexual orientation