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Hungary: Judges award €10,000 to gay Iranian refugee after human rights complaint

A gay Iranian refugee has won the backing of Strasbourg judges in his human rights complaint against Hungary.

The European Court of Human Rights awarded 7,500 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 3,395 (costs and expenses) to the applicant O.M. an Iranian national who currently lives in Budapest, after finding a violation of European human rights law.

The case concerned the Iranian’s detention for 58 days following his request for asylum in Hungary. Having travelled via Serbia, O.M. arrived in Hungary in June 2014, where he was apprehended and taken into custody.

He filed a claim for asylum stating that he had been forced to flee Iran, his country of origin, because of his homosexuality.

At his asylum hearing he alleged that because of his sexual orientation criminal proceedings had been instituted against him and that he faced severe penalties.

On 25 June 2014, the Office of Immigration and Nationality ordered for him to be detained, referring to the fact that his identity and nationality had not yet been clarified and the risk of his frustrating proceedings or running away if left at large. O.M.’s request for release was subsequently dismissed by the competent district court, which extended his detention by 60 days.

In August 2014, the asylum authority’s request for an additional 60-day extension was dismissed. His detention was eventually terminated on 22 August 2014 and he was designated a place of residence. In October 2014 he was recognised as a refugee.

Relying on Article 5 (right to liberty and security), O.M. complained that his detention had been arbitrary and unjustified and that the authorities had failed to take into consideration the individual circumstances of his case, in particular, his belonging to a vulnerable group.

Violation of Article 5 § 1 – concerning the period between 25 June and 22 August 2014

Just satisfaction: EUR 7,500 (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 3,395 (costs and expenses)

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