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Judges consider Yemeni honour crime fears in Swedish deportation row

Judges will decide next week if a Yemeni mother and her daughters should be deported to Yemen where they claim they could become honour crime victims.

Swedish authorities have issued a deportation order against the applicants, Fathia Ali Atik and her five children, who are currently living in the country pending the order’s enforcement.

Relying on Articles 2 (right to life) and 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), the applicants allege that, if deported to Yemen, they faced a real risk of being the victims of an honour crime as they had left their country without the permission of their husband and father.

They arrived in Sweden in 2006 and immediately applied for asylum and residence permits. Ms Ali Atik claimed that she had suffered from years of abuse by her husband to whom she had been married at the age of 14.

She alleged before the Migration Board that her main reason for leaving Yemen had been to protect her daughters, who were either being threatened with or had already been forced into an arranged marriage.

Their applications were ultimately rejected in 2009, as it was considered that the applicant family’s problems had essentially been financial.

The European Court of Human Rights will make known its decision in the case Ali Atik and Others v. Sweden (no. 14499/09) on Thursday 21 June.

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