Application no. 4244/05
by Petrit ELEZI and Others
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting on 17 January 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr J.-P. Costa, President,
Mr I. Cabral Barreto,
Mr V. Butkevych,
Mrs A. Mularoni,
Mrs E. Fura-Sandström,
Ms D. Jočienė,
Mr D. Popović, judges,
and Mrs S. Dollé, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 26 January 2005,
Having regard to the interim measure indicated to the respondent Government under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court and the fact that this interim measure has been complied with,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government and the observations in reply submitted by the applicants,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicants, Mr Petrit Elezi, his wife, Mrs Teuta Elezi, and their children, Visa and Donald Elezi, are nationals of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and of Albanian ethnicity. They were born in 1968, 1974, 1999 and 2002 respectively. They were represented before the Court by Mr Mats Ekelöf, a lawyer practising in Växjö. The respondent Government were represented by Mr M. Falk, Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
The first three applicants applied for asylum in Sweden on 17 July 2001. They submitted that they had left Macedonia due to the armed conflict there. The first applicant had given groceries, other material and money to the UÇK (Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës; “the Kosovo Liberation Army”) and was suspected thereof by the Macedonian police. The second applicant had received death threats from the police. Their eldest daughter, born in 1997, had been run over and killed by a police car on 15 May 2001. The applicants further submitted that their daughter Visa was in a very bad state and invoked a medical certificate which stated that she was receiving child psychiatric treatment which should continue in order not to risk the development of serious psychiatric disorders.
On 17 June 2002 the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) rejected the application. It considered that the applicants were not to be considered as refugees and that there was no reason to believe that they would risk inhuman or degrading treatment if returned to Macedonia. Moreover, the health of the applicants did not warrant the grant of residence permits on humanitarian grounds.
On 24 January 2003 the Aliens Appeals Board (Utlänningsnämnden) agreed with the Migration Board and rejected the applicants’ appeal.
The applicants lodged several new applications with the Appeals Board, which were rejected on 10 June 2003 and 18 February and 21 June 2004.
In support of the present application, the applicants submitted several medical certificates to the Court. According to certificates of 23 February, 3 June and 22 December 2004, the first and second applicants suffered from flash-backs of traumatising experiences in Macedonia and showed clear signs of post-traumatic stress disorders. The second applicant had tried to commit suicide on three occasions and had stated that she would kill herself to avoid a return to Macedonia. She was in great need of psychiatric treatment which was not available in Macedonia.
According to a certificate of 17 May 2004, all family members were in a very bad mental state and in great need of continued psychiatric care. The first applicant suffered from anxiety and insomnia as well psychological injuries caused by the ill-treatment he had experienced in Macedonia. The second applicant suffered from deep depression and suicidal thoughts. There was a great risk that she would attempt to take her life in the event of a deportation. Their daughter Visa had for a long time been in an autistic state and retired more and more into herself whenever she was exposed to stress. She was considerably retarded in her development. She was in great need of constant long-term child psychiatric treatment, the successful result of which was dependent on the whole family being given a calm and safe environment. According to a further opinion of 10 January 2005, the required child psychiatric treatment was not available in Macedonia.
Following the Court’s indication of 4 February 2005, under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, that it was desirable in the interests of the parties and the proper conduct of the proceedings before the Court not to deport the applicants until further notice, the Migration Board, on the same day, decided to stay the enforcement of the order for the applicant’s deportation.
On 31 October 2005, following yet another application for residence permits, the Aliens Appeals Board revoked the deportation order and granted the applicants permanent residence permits. The Board referred to a medical opinion of 18 October 2005, according to which Visa needed to feel safe and get support from her parents in order not to disturb her psychosocial development. The mother was deemed psychologically unable to take care of her daughter and, if the family were to be deported from Sweden, there was a risk that the parents’ mental health would deteriorate and the mother would try to commit suicide. Consequently, in the event of a deportation, the parents would hardly be able to give Visa adequate support. Having regard to this medical opinion and what had generally emerged about the daughter’s situation, the Board found that it would go against the demands of humanity to enforce the deportation order.
The applicants complained about the decisions to deport them to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. They relied on Articles 3 and 8 of the Convention.
On 31 October 2005 the applicants were granted permanent residence permits in Sweden. By a letter of 2 November 2005, they expressed the wish to withdraw the application, as the matter had been resolved. On 3 November 2005 the respondent Government submitted, for the same reason, that the case should be struck out in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (b) of the Convention.
In light of the above circumstances, the Court is satisfied that the applicants do not intend to pursue their application and that the matter has been resolved for the purposes of Article 37 § 1 (a) and (b). In addition, it finds no public policy reasons to justify a continued examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 in fine). Accordingly, Article 29 § 3 should no longer apply to the case and it should be struck out of the list.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
S. Dollé J.-P. Costa
ELEZI v. SWEDEN DECISION
ELEZI v. SWEDEN DECISION