Belgium: Council of Alien Law Litigation orders a humanitarian visa issuance to a Palestinian national with medical needs

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

In a judgment of 25 May 2016, the Belgian appeal body for asylum, the Council for Aliens Law Litigation (CALL), quashed a decision refusing a humanitarian visa with extreme urgency for an epileptic Palestinian national. The decision carried significant weight to the unstable situation in Gaza and the difficulties to obtain adequate medical treatment in the region.

A Palestinian national, who suffered from epilepsy, applied for a humanitarian visa in Belgium in order to join his father. He was at that time still living in Gaza with his mother and claimed to have difficulties with obtaining the required medication and treatment for his illness. The visa was refused on the grounds that the applicant failed to prove that his physical or mental integrity was in danger if he would stay in the country where he had always been living.

The CALL first assessed the three cumulative conditions qualifying for an extreme urgency appeal. The Council clarified that the situation in Gaza is deteriorating and that hospitals and doctors may be subjected to the violent attacks. Another important factor is the overpopulation and the constant threat of new bombings in Gaza. Due to this extreme instability the extreme urgency is considered justified by the Council.

The second condition relates to the situation of the Palestinian national. The Council reiterates that a lack of access to treatment can amount to a violation of Article 3 European Convention on Human Rights. The fact that the Palestinian national was considered gravely ill and that the necessary medications to stabilize his condition were not available in Gaza, led the Council to decide that the requirement of a serious reason was fulfilled. 

The final condition for suspension of the negative decision is the fact that its continuation could lead an irreparable harm to the applicant. The Council also found this condition to be fulfilled.

In addition to accepting the immediate suspension of the negative decision on the humanitarian visa, the Council also stated that within 5 days, the Palestinian national had to receive a visa or a laisser-passer, valid for three months.

The ELENA Weekly Legal Update would like to thank Selma Benkhelifa for notifying us of this judgment. Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. 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, the IRC or its partners.



Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Medical Reports/Medico-legal Reports
Vulnerable person