ECtHR judgment in H. and B. v. UK (nos. 70073/10 and 44539/11) [Article 3 ECHR]

Friday, October 4, 2013

The applicants are two Afghan nationals who worked, respectively, as a driver for the UN and as an interpreter for the US armed forces in Afghanistan. They applied for asylum in the United Kingdom as they considered themselves at risk of harm from the Taliban, Hizb-i-Islam and the Afghan authorities. Their applications were rejected by the British authorities at several instances. Before the ECtHR, they alleged that their deportation to Afghanistan would constitute a breach of Article 3 ECHR. They particularly alleged that their work for the UN and for the US armed forces made them targets for the agents of persecution mentioned above.

The Court rules that the deportation of the applicants to Kabul would not violate Article 3 ECHR. It noted that neither applicant had a high profile as a worker for the UN or the US and that it did not have sufficient evidence that the Taliban would be able to identify the applicants in Kabul, particularly in view of the fact that they had worked in other provinces and of the passage of time. The Court found that the applicants had not provided sufficient evidence of their alleged exposure to a real risk upon return and that the British authorities had carried out proper and comprehensive assessments of their claims. Therefore, it found no violation of Article 3.

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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Assessment of facts and circumstances
Personal circumstances of applicant