The European Court of Human Rights has asked Finland to give an account of whether or not its decision to remove an Iraqi asylum seeker from the country violated the European Convention on Human Rights. (Credit: Frederick Florin – AFP/Lehtikuva)


THE EUROPEAN COURT of Human Rights (ECHR) has asked Finland to give an account of the events that led to the removal of an unsuccessful asylum seeker who was killed in Iraq in 2017, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The man was killed only some three weeks after returning voluntarily to his country of origin from Finland.

Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday wrote that the man had worked as a criminal investigator for a government agency tasked with investigating corruption and human rights violations under the Iraqi Ministry of Interior. As he was the agency’s only Sunni Muslim, his work became more dangerous following the emergence and recognition of paramilitary groups of Shia Muslims in Iraq.

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He, for example, received a death threat from a colleague and was the target of two murder attempts in early 2015, according to the newspaper.

The man fled the country together with his son and daughter in August 2015 and applied for an asylum in Finland in September 2015.

His application was rejected by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) in December 2016. Migri stated in its decision that, although the account of the man was credible, the murder attempts were not related to his background or personal characteristics. The death threat made by his colleague, it added, was part of an argument between two individuals.

The decision to deny him asylum was later upheld by the Helsinki Administrative Court. The man was not granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court.

He ultimately boarded a voluntary return flight Iraq on 29 November, 2017, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

The ECHR requested an account of the events following a complaint filed by the daughter of the man, who is living in Finland, the newspaper also wrote.

YLE wrote roughly a year ago about an ex-asylum seeker from Iraq who was shot dead only weeks after returning to his country of origin from Finland. Migri stated at the time that the incident reported by the public broadcasting company was “humanely unfortunate” but cited the option of internal flight in arguing that its decision was in line with rulings issued by the ECHR.

“In Baghdad, for example, the violence is not so intense that it would pose a real threat of rights violations to anyone returning to the city,” it said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi