Application no. 5140/06
by Reza MOHAMMADI
against the Netherlands
The European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), sitting on 1 June 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr B.M. Zupančič, President,
Mr J. Hedigan,
Mr L. Caflisch,
Mr V. Zagrebelsky,
Mrs A. Gyulumyan,
Mr E. Myjer,
Mrs I. Ziemele, judges,
and Mr V. Berger, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 3 February 2006,
Having regard to the interim measure indicated to the respondent Government under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court,
Having regard to the respondent Government’s submissions and the applicant’s response,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Mr Reza Mohammadi, is an Iranian national who was born in 1975 and lives in the Netherlands. He was represented before the Court by Ms K. Ross, a lawyer practising in Haarlem. The Netherlands Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr R.A.A. Böcker, of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
The applicant filed three successive, unsuccessful asylum requests in the Netherlands. During his stay in the Netherlands, the applicant converted to the Christian faith.
The final negative decision on the applicant’s third asylum request, which was based, inter alia, on his conversion to Christianity, was taken on 28 December 2005 by the Administrative Jurisdiction Division (Afdeling Bestuursrechtspraak) of the Council of State (Raad van State).
In the course of a debate in the Netherlands Lower House on 12 April 2006, the Minister for Immigration and Integration (Minister voor Vreemdelingenzaken en Integratie) undertook, inter alia, to establish a temporary moratorium on expulsions of Iranian Christians to Iran and to obtain an updated official country assessment report on Iran from the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken).
The applicant originally complained that his expulsion from the Netherlands to Iran would be in violation of Article 3 of the Convention and that, as regards this complaint, he did not have an effective remedy within the meaning of Article 13 of the Convention.
The applicant complained principally of the Netherlands authorities’ refusal to admit him to the Netherlands.
On 18 April 2006, the Government informed the Court of the undertaking given by the Minister for Immigration and Integration to establish a moratorium on expulsions of Iranian Christians to Iran and submitted that, this being the case, the applicant would be provided with the opportunity to lodge a fresh asylum request which would be dealt with under the terms of this moratorium. The Government requested the Court to adjourn its further examination of the case pending a final determination of a renewed asylum request by the applicant or, alternatively, to strike the application out of its list of pending cases.
By letters of 27 April and 3 May 2006, the applicant indicated that he was not prepared to file a fresh asylum request, submitting that a mere stay of the deportation of Iranian Christian asylum seekers would not entail that the elements other than his conversion to Christianity as relied on by him in his asylum requests would be included in the reassessment of his asylum claim. He further submitted that a 12-months’ temporary stay of the expulsions of Christian Iranians pending the preparation of a new official country assessment report was not of particular relevance for him as, in any event, the interim measure indicated to the respondent Government under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court prevented him from actually being deported.
The Court notes that, pursuant to a temporary moratorium on expulsions of Christian Iranians to Iran which has been established in the meantime, the risk of the applicant being expelled has now, at least temporarily, been removed. In these circumstances, the Court considers that the interim measure indicated to the respondent Government under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court should be discontinued, and that it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application (Article 37 § 1 (c)). It has further found no reasons of a general character, as defined in Article 37 § 1 in fine, which would require a continuation of its examination of the applicant’s complaint under Article 3 by virtue of Article 37 § 1 in fine.
Consequently, the application should be struck out of the list. In reaching this conclusion, the Court has taken into account its competence under Article 37 § 2 of the Convention to restore the case to its list of cases if it considers that the circumstances justify such a course.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
Vincent Berger Boštjan
MOHAMMADI v. THE NETHERLANDS DECISION
MOHAMMADI v. THE NETHERLANDS DECISION