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France and Germany 'unsafe' for refugees (vom 21.12.2000),
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[21. Dec 2000]

France and Germany 'unsafe' for refugees

France and Germany were ruled "unsafe" countries for asylum seekers by Britain's highest court yesterday, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Five law lords blocked moves by Home ecretary Jack Straw to deport a Somali and an Algerian because the French and German authorities would probably send them home. The unanimous ruling has far-reaching implications for the government, which wants to return hundreds of asylum seekers to "safe third countries".

France and Germany only recognise as refugees those who face persecution from the state in their own country. Britain adopts a wider interpretation. The law lords considered two test cases. Lul Adan, 28, fled from Somalia to Germany in 1997 because her clan was being persecuted by an armed group. When her asylum application was refused, she came to Britain where her case was rejected and the Home Secretary ordered that she be returned to Germany as a safe third country. Hamid Aitseguer, 33, an Algerian, asked for asylum in Britain in 1998 after travelling through France, claiming that Islamic fundamentalists had threatened to kill him and his family. The Home Secretary refused his application and certified that he should be returned to France as a safe third country.




The Daily Telegraph - France and Germany "unsafe" for refugees

The Daily Telegraph

ISSUE 2035 Wednesday 20 December 2000
France and Germany "unsafe" for refugees
By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor

FRANCE and Germany were ruled "unsafe" countries for asylum seekers by Britain"s highest court yesterday.

Five law lords blocked moves by Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, to deport a Somali and an Algerian because the French and German authorities would probably send them home. The unanimous ruling has far-reaching implications for the Government. It wants to return hundreds of asylum seekers whose claim it does not recognise to "safe third countries".

Britain can return asylum seekers to a country which they have already visited provided it conforms to the provisions of the United Nations convention of refugees. This grants asylum to those with a "well-founded fear of persecution".

France and Germany only recognise as refugees those who face persecution from the state in their own country. Britain adopts a wider interpretation and includes persecution by other ethnic groups or political organisations.

The law lords considered two test cases. Lul Adan, 28, fled from Somalia to Germany in 1997 because her clan was being persecuted by an armed group that had overthrown the government. When her asylum application was refused, she came to Britain where her case was rejected and the Home Secretary ordered that she be returned to Germany as a safe third country.

Hamid Aitseguer, 33, an Algerian, asked for asylum in Britain in 1998 after travelling through France, claiming that Islamic fundamentalists had threatened to kill him and his family. The Home Secretary refused his application and certified that he should be returned to France as a safe third country.

Lord Slynn of Hadley said it was agreed that Germany would probably return Ms Adan to Somalia and that France would send back Mr Aitseguer to Algeria. Lord Steyn said there was a difference of opinion between states in interpreting the word "persecuted" in the refugee convention.

The Home Secretary accepted that if the two were returned to those countries, it would probably mean they would be sent to Somalia and Algeria where they might face torture and death. The law lords upheld a Court of Appeal ruling in July last year that the Home Secretary
misdirected himself on the law and that his decisions to deport the pair must be quashed.


Note:
Die Vorinstanz kam bereits zum gleichen Ergebnis: Supreme Court of Judicature (Court of Appeal) London FC 3 1999/6333/4 und QBCOF 1999/0082/4 v. 23.7.99
Diese Entscheidung ist veröffentlicht in
o NVwZ-Beilage I 2000, 58 (in deutscher Übersetzung);
o InfAuslR 2000, 223 (in englischer Originalfassung; mit Anmerkung Rittstieg);
o Betrifft JUSTIZ 1999, 131 (auszugsweise, mit Anmerkung P. Osten);
o IBIS e.V.: R3694;
o Volltext im Internet: http://tap.ccta.gov.uk/courtser/judgments.nsf - dort unter "search" den Namen "Aitseguer" eingeben.