AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF
Application no. 7260/05
by Patrick MULIIRA
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting on 23 May 2006 as a Chamber composed of:
Mr J.-P. Costa, President,
Mr A.B. Baka,
Mr R. Türmen,
Mr M. Ugrekhelidze,
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 14 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 applicant, Mr Patrick Muliira, is a Ugandan national who was born in 1971 and lives in Dalsjöfors. He was represented before the Court by Mr B. Johansson, a lawyer practising in Stockholm.
The respondent Government were represented by Mr M. Falk of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The facts, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
On 13 March 2003 the applicant arrived in Sweden from Uganda and on 17 March 2003 he applied to the Migration Board (Migrationsverket) for asylum and a residence permit. He stated that in Uganda he had been working as a driver for the Government. When it was discovered that he supported the opposition and that, during 2002, on behalf of the opposition, he had filmed mass graves and “safe houses” where people were tortured, he had had to hide and then to flee the country. His cameraman had been killed. He had been imprisoned twice for political reasons between 2000 and 2002, for altogether four months.
On 23 October 2003 the Migration Board rejected the application. It found no grounds on which to grant the applicant asylum: it observed that the applicant’s story was inconsistent and that he had left Uganda legally.
The applicant appealed to the Aliens Appeals Board (Utlänningsnämnden), maintaining his claims. On 10 June 2004, the Aliens Appeals Board rejected the appeal, finding that there was no risk that the applicant would be exposed to ill-treatment upon return to Uganda.
The applicant lodged new applications, adding that he had a Swedish girlfriend who was expecting their child. The Aliens Appeals Board rejected the applications. On 8 February 2005 the applicant’s daughter was born.
On 25 February 2005 the applicant requested the Court to indicate to the Swedish Government under Rule 39 the suspension of his deportation.
On 1 March 2005 the President of the Section to which the case had been assigned applied Rule 39 and requested the Swedish Government to provide certain information, which they did.
On 4 March 2005 the Migration Board, following the Court’s request, decided to stay the deportation of the applicant until further notice.
On 5 January 2006 the Court adjourned the application on the request of the Government following the enactment of an interim amendment to the Aliens Act, on the basis of which the applicant’s case would be tried anew.
On 6 March 2006 the Government informed the Court that, on 10 November 2005, the Aliens Appeals Board had granted the applicant a permanent residence permit in Sweden, based on his relationship with his Swedish daughter, and had repealed the deportation order.
The applicant complained under Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention that if returned to Uganda he would face a risk of being killed and exposed to torture.
The applicant complained that he was facing a risk of being killed and tortured upon return to Uganda and that his deportation would therefore be contrary to Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention.
The Swedish Government submitted that, since the applicant had now been granted a permanent residence permit and the deportation order repealed, the matter had been resolved. Thus, they invited the Court to strike the case out of its list of cases in accordance with Article 37 § 1 (b) of the Convention.
The applicant claimed that, irrespective of the decision to grant him a permanent residence permit, the matter had not been resolved. He had not been granted a residence permit as a refugee according to the Geneva Convention or on the basis of subsidiary protection. It could therefore not be excluded that, under extra-ordinary circumstances, after a re-opening of the proceedings, he might be expelled. He did not enjoy the same kind of protection as a refugee or a person with subsidiary protection.
The Court notes that there has been no friendly settlement or agreed arrangement in the present case. The grant of the permanent residence permits and the repeal of the deportation order were measures which the Aliens Appeals Board took on 13 February 2006 under the interim amendment to the Swedish Aliens Act, having regard to the applicant’s relationship with his daughter.
However, the Court considers that the circumstances lead to the conclusion that the matter has indeed been resolved. The applicant’s initial complaint to the Court was essentially that his deportation to Uganda would cause him irreparable harm contrary to Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention. That threat of a potential violation has now been removed by virtue of the decision of 13 February 2006 to grant him a permanent residence permit in Sweden (see, Paez v. Sweden, judgment of 30 October 1997, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1997-VII, p . 2445, § 29). Thus, the Court is of the opinion that it is no longer justified to continue the examination of the application.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to discontinue the application of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court;
Decides to strike the application out of the list of cases.
S. Dollé J.-P. Costa
MULIIRA v. SWEDEN DECISION
MULIIRA v. SWEDEN DECISION