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ECtHR rules on deportation to Afghanistan

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Other Source/Information:
Referral to the CJEU
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
European Convention on Human Rights;
Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR], M.H. (Afghanistan) v Finland, Application no. 42255/18, ECLI:CE:ECHR:2020:0616DEC004225518, 16 June 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
Permanent link to the case
Case history
Related cases:

The applicant is a 22-year-old Hazara Afghan male who applied for asylum in Finland on 8 November 2015. When he was five years old he moved from Afghanistan to Iran and where he lived with foster parents after his biological parents died. When still a minor, his foster mother passed away and his foster father was granted refugee status in the United States. Because it could not be proven that the applicant was his foster son, the applicant remained in Iran without any guardian. While in Iran as a minor, the applicant was raped by two men.

The applicant complained that his expulsion to Afghanistan would be in violation of Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention, due to the general security situation in Kabul and the real risk of serious harm due to indiscriminate violence, the general living conditions in Kabul, the lack of a job, family or other network and his particular vulnerability due to the death of his parents and the sexual assault.

The Court held that based on the most recent country of origin information (including EASO materials), the situation could not be considered of such a nature that there would be a violation of the Convention if the applicant were to be returned to Afghanistan. 

The Court made reference to the assessment made by domestic courts with regard to the medical problems invoked by the applicant. It observed that the domestic authorities and courts considered that the applicant had not sufficiently substantiated his claims with medical certificates and that his state of health did not appear particularly serious to prevent his deportation to Afghanistan. The Court also observed that, on the basis of the most recent country information available, he would have access to basic medical care in Kabul. With regard to the sexual assault, the Court observed that it took place in Iran and not in Afghanistan and there is no indication that he would be at particular risk of further sexual exploitation in Afghanistan. The Court further added that he is familiar with the local culture and his native language is Dari, largely spoken in Afghanistan. The Court concluded that "there are no substantial grounds for believing that the applicant would be exposed to a real risk of being subjected to treatment contrary to Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention if expelled to Afghanistan in the current circumstances." The complaints were declared inadmissible as manifestly ill-founded.

The decision cites two reports by EASO: Afghanistan: Key socio-economic indicators, State protection, and mobility in Kabul City, Mazar-e-Sharif, and Herat City, of August 2017 and on internal flight alternative Country Guidance on Afghanistan – Guidance note and common analysis, of 21 June 2018

Country of Decision
Council of Europe
Court Name
CoE: European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR]
Case Number
Application no. 42255/18
Date of Decision
Country of Origin
EUAA COI Reports
EUAA Country Guidance Materials