UN Human Rights Committee: Asylum-related jurisprudence from the 119th Session (Part 2)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

During its 119th Session (6 March 2017 - 29 March 2017), the CCPR adopted 46 decisions, out of which 26 have been published to date. This EWLU would like to draw your attention to the following:

The case concerns a transgender Malaysian national who claimed that her deportation from Denmark to Malaysia would violate her rights under Article 7 ICCPR (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment), in conjunction with articles 17(1) (privacy and family life), 18(1) (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) and 26 (non-discrimination). The Committee issued an interim measure calling Denmark to refrain from removing the applicant pending the decision. 
The applicant was born as a man and was registered as a Muslim, but considers herself Hindu. She left her family and started receiving female hormone treatment at the age of 16. In 2007, she underwent gender reassignment surgery in Thailand. She claimed being stopped by the police and physically and sexually abused while in custody in different occasions from 2001 to 2010. She was also taken to the office of an Islamic Organisation where she was detained and photographed. She arrived in Denmark in 2014 and applied for asylum. Her application was rejected on the basis of lack of credibility regarding the account of her detention and sexual abuse. Her appeal was also unsuccessful.
The Human Rights Committee considered her complaints under Article 18(1) insufficiently substantiated, as she did not provide detailed information on how her conversion to Hinduism would put her in risk of degrading treatment if returned to Malaysia. However, the Committee considered her claims admissible under the other articles in conjunction with Article 7 – i.e. persecution based on her gender identity. Notwithstanding, the Committee understood that the national authority and court had thoroughly examined the claims, and concurred that the applicant’s account were described in a generic manner. Therefore, it found that the removal to Malaysia would not constitute a violation of her rights under Article 7 in conjunction with Articles 17(1) and 26 ICCPR.

The case concerns an Iranian national who claimed his removal to Iran would violate his rights under Articles 7, 19 and 26 ICCPR due to his opposition to the Iranian government. He applied for asylum in Denmark in 2009, but had his request denied on the basis of, inter alia, lack of credibility regarding his account of persecution suffered by a family member. This decision was upheld by the Refugee Appeals Board. The applicant was deported to Iran in June 2013.
The Human Rights Committee observed that the applicant had not pointed to any procedural irregularities in the decision-making procedure and that his personal circumstances had been taking into account by the national authorities. Therefore, it found that his removal to Iran did not violate his rights under Article 7 ICCPR.


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.



Gender Based Persecution
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Political Opinion
Sexual orientation