Application no. 5212/05
by Fuad KHALILOV and Others
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting on 31 January 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr J.-P. Costa, President,
Mr R. Türmen,
Mr K. Jungwiert,
Mr M. Ugrekhelidze,
Mrs A. Mularoni,
Mrs E. Fura-Sandström,
Mr D. Popović, judges,
and Mr S. Naismith, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 9 February 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 decision to grant priority to the above application under Rule 41 of the Rules of Court,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicants, Mr Fuad Khalilov, Mrs Aida Khalilova and their two sons, are Azerbaijani nationals and were born in 1955, 1960, 1986 and 1992, respectively. They are currently in Sweden. They were represented before the Court by Ms N. Lindgren, a lawyer practising in Stockholm.
The respondent Government were represented by their Agent, Mr C. H. Ehrenkrona of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 30 August 2002 the applicants arrived in Sweden and, on the same day, they applied for asylum and residence permits to the Migration Board (Migrationsverket). They stated that the first applicant had worked as a police officer in Baku where he had found out about widespread corruption among politicians and people in power. Because he had refused to arrest persons whom he considered innocent, he had been assaulted on his way home from work one day and then the family had started to receive anonymous telephone threats. In June 2002 the first applicant had been arrested and formally accused of, inter alia, corruption and of having insulted the President. During his detention, he had been ill-treated and forced to sign a confession regarding the above accusations. He had been released after the second applicant had paid a bribe to the responsible police officer. Soon after his release, the family had fled from the country.
On 30 October 2003 the Migration Board rejected the application as it considered that the applicants would not face a real risk of being persecuted if returned to Azerbaijan.
The applicants appealed to the Aliens Appeals Board (Utlänningsnämnden), maintaining their claims and adding that the whole family was in poor mental health, particularly the fourth applicant who had been hospitalised on one occasion because he refused to eat, and was depressed and anxious.
On 10 January 2005 the Aliens Appeals Board rejected the application, upholding the Migration Board’s decision. As concerned the family’s mental health, it considered that none of them was in such poor mental health that it could be compared to a life-threatening illness for which adequate care could not be offered in their home country.
On 6 February 2005 the applicants lodged a new application for residence permits with the Aliens Appeals Board, invoking the family’s continuously deteriorating mental health, emphasising that the fourth applicant was in a state of acute traumatic stress, alternating between fits of aggression and anxiety and periods of apathy.
On 7 February 2005 the Aliens Appeals Board refused to stay the enforcement of the deportation.
On 9 February 2005 the applicants requested the Court to indicate to the Swedish Government under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court the suspension of their deportation to Azerbaijan.
On 10 February 2005 the Vice-President of the Section to which the case had been allocated decided to apply Rule 39 and, on the same day, the Migration Board, in response to the Court’s request, stayed the deportation of the applicants until further notice.
On 2 December 2005 the applicants informed the Court that, on 14 November 2005, the Aliens Appeals Board had granted them permanent residence permits. Thus, they wished to withdraw their application.
The applicants had originally complained under Article 3 of the Convention that, if they were deported to Azerbaijan, they would risk being persecuted and ill-treated. Moreover, the deportation would cause irreparable damage to all of them due to their very poor mental health.
The applicants originally complained that their deportation to Azerbaijan would be contrary to Article 3 of the Convention. However, they have now been granted permanent residence permits in Sweden and wish to withdraw their case.
The Court notes that the applicants no longer risk deportation from Sweden and that they do not intend to pursue their case. In these circumstances, and having regard to Article 37 § 1 (a) and (b) of the Convention, the Court is of the opinion that it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application. Furthermore, in accordance with Article 37 § 1 in fine, the Court finds no special circumstances regarding respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which require the continued examination of the case.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases.
S. Naismith J.-P. Costa
Deputy Registrar President
KHALILOV AND OTHERS v. SWEDEN DECISION
KHALILOV AND OTHERS v. SWEDEN DECISION