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CH: Federal Court orders release from detention pending removal due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

Input Provided By
Other Source/Information:
Referral to the CJEU
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
National law only (in case there is no reference to EU law/ECHR);
Switzerland, Federal Court [Bundesgericht - Cour fédéral], A. (Algeria) v Migration Office of the Canton of Zurich, 2C_518 / 2020 , 10 July 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
Permanent link to the case
Case history
Related cases:

The applicant, Algerian national, applied for asylum on 25 June 2018, but he withdrew it in the second half of 2018. The District Court of Zurich sentenced A. in 2019 for multiple offences to a 28 months prison sentence of 28 months; he was also expelled from the country for 10 years. Upon release from prison, A. was placed in deportation custody, measure that he contested, along with the fact that a deportation is not foreseeable due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Federal Court ruled that an enforcement of the expulsion to Algeria can no longer be regarded as foreseeable within a reasonable period of time and ordereed also the release from detrention, as it found it contrary to art. 5 ECHR. However, this fact does not rule out the possibility of him being taken back into deportation detention if the pandemic situation in Algeria changes fundamentally. As a milder measure, and as alternative to detention pending removal, the applicant may be required to report to the police.

Country of Decision
Court Name
CH: Federal Court [Bundesgericht - Cour fédéral]
Case Number
2C_518 / 2020
Date of Decision
Country of Origin
COVID-19/Emergency measures
Detention/ Alternatives to Detention