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ECHR rules that a former Syrian serviceman would be at risk of ill-treatment and of a breach of his right to life if he were expelled to Syria

Input Provided By
Other Source/Information:
ECHR Press Release
Referral to the CJEU
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
European Convention on Human Rights;
Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR], O.D. v Bulgaria, Application no 34016/18, ECLI:CE:ECHR:2019:1010JUD003401618 , 10 October 2019. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
Permanent link to the case
Case history
Related cases:

According to the Court's Press Release,

This case concerned an order made by the Bulgarian authorities for the expulsion to Syria of a former Syrian serviceman on the grounds that he posed a threat to national security.

In the Chamber judgment1 in the case of O.D. v. Bulgaria (application no. 34016/18) the European Court of Human Rights held unanimously: - that O.D.’s removal to Syria would amount to a violation of Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights - that there had been a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy), read in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3.

The Court found, in particular, that in view of the overall situation in Syria and the individual risk faced by the applicant it could not be established that he could safely return to Syria. The Court also found that the applicant had not had access to an effective remedy, noting that his request for a stay of execution of the expulsion order had been rejected on the grounds that he posed a threat to national security, and that the proceedings relating to the application for refugee status or humanitarian status had not been aimed at reviewing the lawfulness of the expulsion order or its effects in relation to the complaints concerning the right to life and the right not to be subjected to ill-treatment.

The Court decided to indicate to the Government, under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, that O.D. should not be expelled.

Country of Decision
Council of Europe
Court Name
CoE: European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR]
Case Number
Application no 34016/18
Date of Decision
Country of Origin
Country of Origin Information
Effective remedy