ECtHR decision in Amie and Others v. Bulgaria (no. 58149/08) [Articles 5(1), 5(4) and 8 ECHR]

Friday, October 4, 2013

The applicants are the members of a stateless family who were granted asylum in Bulgaria in 2001 and live in Sofia. In 2006, Mr. Mahmud Amie, the father, was placed in detention following an order for his expulsion on grounds that he was involved in terrorist activities and represented a serious threat for national security. He was released after three months and then placed in detention again from 2008 to 2010 pending enforcement of his expulsion. He was released after the Sofia Administrative Court reviewed his detention.

The Court found violations of Articles 5(1) and 5(4). Mr. Amie's deportation could not justify the whole period of his detention due to the lack of a realistic prospect of his expulsion and the domestic authorities' failure to conduct the proceedings with due diligence. The Court also held that there had been a violation of Article 8, alleged by his wife and children. The Court found that the applicants had a family life in Bulgaria and that the expulsion of Mr. Mahmud Amie would constitute an interference therewith. The judicial proceedings at the Supreme Administrative Court, which upheld the expulsion, did not provide sufficient guarantees against arbitrariness. When reviewing the order for Mr. Amie's expulsion the Supreme Administrative Court did not carry out a genuine inquiry into the allegations of national security on which that order was based.

Visit the ECtHR's website to read the full text of the judgment.

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Revocation of protection status
Serious non-political crime
Stateless person
Procedural guarantees
Family unity (right to)