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Court backs Germany over Islamic State activist’s Tunisia deportation

Judges have accepted that Germany’s deportation to Tunisia of a Islamic State activist, considered a threat to national security, was not in breach human rights law.

In its decision in the case of Saidani v. Germany (application no. 17675/18) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the application inadmissible.

The decision is final.

The applicant, Haykel Ben Khemais Saidani, is a Tunisian national who was born in 1980 and lived in Frankfurt am Main.

The case concerned the applicant’s deportation from Germany to Tunisia because he was deemed to be a potential offender who posed a threat to national security (so-called “Gefährder”), based on his activities for “Islamic State”.

On 1 August 2017 the Ministry of the Interior of the Land of Hessen ordered the applicant’s deportation and declared that order to be enforceable immediately.

A request for interim measures to the Federal Administrative Court by Haykel Saidani was rejected in September 2017 on the condition that the Tunisian authorities would provide diplomatic assurances.

In March 2018 the Federal Administrative Court amended its decision and rejected the applicant’s request altogether.

It considered that there was a real risk that the applicant would be sentenced to death or to a life sentence in Tunisia.

However, in light of the moratorium on carrying out capital punishment and the assurances given by the Tunisian authorities, there was no real risk that the applicant would be executed.

In its decision, the European court found that there was a real risk that the death penalty would be imposed on Saidani in Tunisia. However, this penalty would de facto constitute a life sentence since there was a moratorium on carrying out executions, which had been respected since 1991.

The court also saw no reason to depart from the domestic court’s findings that there was a possibility to review a life sentence with a view to subsequent release and that there was a clear mechanism for it in Tunisian law and practice.

 

 

 

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