Denmark: Refugee Appeals Board finds returns to Syria would violate fundamental rights in six trial cases

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Refugee Appeals Board in Denmark overturned decisions issued by the Danish Immigration Service to withdraw or to refuse to extend the residence permits in six cases of Syrian nationals from the province of Damascus.

In 2015, following amendments to the Aliens Act, asylum applicants from affected areas in Syria who had fled a general situation of violence and had not risked individual persecution were granted general temporary protection status under Article 7 (3) of the Aliens Act. On 27 February 2019, the Refugee Board Coordination Committee stated that the conflict and the civilian casualties in Syria were geographically limited and held that it was up to the Immigration Service to assess whether there remain grounds for granting protection.

In assessing the six cases, the Refugee Appeals Board examined the current situation in Syria. It held that the security situation remains volatile and human rights abuses continue to occur, including in Damascus. The Board recognised that individuals with certain ‘risk profiles’ would likely be persecuted in Syria, including those who have evaded military service and their family members, those associated or perceived to be associated with opposition groups, persons from areas previously controlled by the opposition, as well as individuals whose names may be confused with wanted persons. The Board noted that the Syrian authorities’ assessments of which citizens constitute a security threat are characterised by arbitrariness and unpredictability. Recognising reports, which indicate serious abuses are committed by Syrian authorities of persons who are interrogated and imprisoned, the Court held that such treatment would be a violation of rights under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

In all six cases, the Refugee Appeals Board overturned the decisions of the Immigration Service and granted residence permits to all applicants under Article 7 (1) or (2) of the Aliens Act. 

The EWLU team would like to thank Sebastian Juel Frandsen and Lene Moelgaard Kristensen, ELENA Coordinator for Denmark, for their information on these cases. 

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.


Assessment of facts and circumstances
Real risk
Revocation of protection status