Abdi v. UK (no. 27770/08) [Articles 3 and 5 ECHR]

Friday, October 4, 2013

The applicant, Mr. Abdi, is a Somali national who applied for asylum in the United Kingdom and is currently detained in a British prison. In 1998 he was sentenced to imprisonment. In 2003 his release became automatic, but he remained in detention as a result of a deportation order issued in 2002 and a subsequent authority for detention. In April 2004, the Home Department authorised his detention until deportation. However, deportation was not possible for the British authorities until July 2006. His detention during this period was declared lawful by British Courts. Mr. Abdi was released in April 2007 but re-detained a year later after breaching his bail conditions. Before the ECtHR, he complained that his detention had been unlawful (Article 5) and that his removal to Mogadishu would put him at risk of ill-treatment (Article 3).

With respect to Article 5, the Court found that the period of detention between December 2004 and April 2007 had been unlawful in accordance with a judgment of the UK's Supreme Court issued in a different case. The applicant had not benefited from the regular reviews required by the Secretary of State's policy. The Court considered that Mr Abdi would benefit from the UK Government's undertakings, set out in a letter addressed to the Court, to not return applicants to Mogadishu without a full examination of their claims and decided to strike Mr. Abdi's complaint under Article 3 out of its list of cases. The interim measure granted under Rule 39 from which the applicant benefited was hence lifted.

Read the full text of the judgment and a press release at the website of the European Court of Human Rights.

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Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment