Case Study: Seeking Asylum for a victim of the war in Syria

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
26 February 2014

Our client is a 19 year old who was arrested by the Syrian authorities for acting as a journalist for the opposition. He was detained for many months in Syria and during his detention he was tortured and ill-treated. He left Syria on 10th June 2013, travelled to Jordan and then to Egypt and from Egypt he travelled on a small boat with about 60 people.  The boat sank, but he survived and made his way to Italy. After arriving in Europe in Italy, he travelled to the UK where he claimed asylum in August 2013.

Following his screening interview on 17th August 2013 a request was made to the Italian authorities to accept the claimant for the purposes of consideration of his asylum claim under Article 16.1 of the Dublin II Regulations. On 26th September 2013 the Italian authorities filed their acceptance of the claimant’s asylum claim under Article 16.1. In a medical report prepared under Detention Centre Rule 35 at Dover Immigration Removal Centre, the doctor indicated he had concerns that the claimant may have been a victim of torture.

We obtained bail for the claimant by the First Tier Tribunal on 16th September 2013. On 10th October 2013 the claimant was re-detained when reporting and had to obtain bail again. This was granted and Judicial Review proceedings were lodged. We argued that the defendant’s decision to certify the claimant’s asylum claim on third country grounds is unlawful and unreasonable in the particular circumstances.

We also argued that based on the evidence available, those returned to Italy are at risk of treatment in breach of Article 3 of the ECHR and there is independent evidence that the applicant is a victim of torture and it cannot be acceptable that he would be returned to such inhumane or degrading treatment, including without adequate accommodation as that which is currently provided by the Italian authorities.

Currently we are awaiting a date for the Judicial Review Hearing to take place and our grounds of  challenge are that the certification of our client’s human rights claim is unlawful as there is an arguable case that if removed to Italy he would be at risk of treatment contrary to Article 3 and further that no consideration has been given to the application of Article 15 of the Council Regulation or to Article 8 of the ECHR notwithstanding that the applicant’s father and sister are resident in the UK and in light of his mental health difficulties.