Communicated case against Poland

Friday, March 26, 2021

Z.E. and Others v Poland (Application no. 4457/18) concerns the applicant Z.E and her four children, who are Russian nationals of Chechen origin. In 2013, the applicants were stopped while crossing the Polish border with Z.E’s husband. Various sets of asylum proceedings ensued and ultimately ended in a refusal. Z.E obtained a ‘religious divorce’ from her husband who returned to Chechnya.

The applicants lodged a new request for asylum on the grounds that, if returned, they would be at real risk of suffering violence at the hands of the first applicant’s husband and of the children being taken away from the first applicant by their father. This application was also rejected and subsequently, the Aliens Office refused to authorise the applicants’ stay in Poland on humanitarian grounds. The applicants appealed this decision and submitted evidence relating to the domestic abuse suffered. The Supreme Administrative Court subsequently dismissed the applicants’ cassation appeal. The family were placed in administrative detention. Psychological reports drawn up by NGOs in regard to the two oldest children which concluded that they could no longer cope with the distress of being in detention and it recommended their release. Their detention was extended by a series of decisions from the District Court. On 25 May 2018, the Olsztyn Regional Court decided to lift the detention measures. The Polish authorities deported Z.E and her children to Russia in March 2019. She is currently living in her mother’s village and her children have been taken away from her and are living with their father.

The applicants complain under Article 3 ECHR in relation to the length of their detention and the prolonged psychological suffering. They also complain under Article 8 ECHR that the measure was disproportionate. Moreover, the applicants complain under Articles 5(1) and 5(4) ECHR that their detention was not in accordance with law and inter alia the authorities failed to serve the applications for the applicants’ detention and for the extension of the detention measure to the applicants or their lawyers.

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.