On 21 June 2022, the ECtHR ruled in the M.N. and Others v. Türkiye case (Application no. 40462/16). The case concerns the expulsion of seven Tajik nationals who arrived in Türkiye between 2013 and 2015. They were arrested in Istanbul in 2015 because of their irregular stay in the country and their affiliation to an unauthorized koranic school; while some media outlets broadcasted the police operation as targeting circles allegedly close to the Islamic State. The authorities issued an expulsion order to Tajikistan on grounds of a threat to public security. The applicants complained under Articles 2, 3, and 9 of the Convention taken alone and in conjunction with Article 13 that their expulsion to Tajikistan would endanger their lives and expose them to a risk of ill-treatment. The ECtHR found that there was no violation of Article 3 of the Convention. Firstly, because Tajik authorities had not initiated proceedings against them and no evidence had been provided to consider that they could be arrested in their country of origin. The Court further held that the applicants were able to leave the country without any problem. Additionally, the Court did not find any source that seemed to indicate that there was any persecution of Koranic students in Tajikistan as long as their schools have no connections with Islamic extremist groups. Secondly, even though the European Court admitted that the national authorities had failed to carry out an adequate assessment of the risks alleged, this was not sufficient to consider there had been a violation of the Convention. Regarding the risks that the media coverage could have created if they were perceived as members of a terrorist organisation, the Court pointed out that no names were revealed and the authorities did not charge them with any crime. Additionally, the ECtHR established that the Turkish authorities had accepted the applicants’ version of the events that they were studying the Koran in a non-authorized religious school but had no links with any Islamist organisation. The Court held that Turkish authorities merely considered that their presence could pose a public security issue in Türkiye because they were students at an institution that had not been declared to the authorities nor authorized and was therefore not subject to any state control and supervision. Consequently, the Court considered that the applicants had not provided sufficient evidence to prove they could be exposed to any treatment contrary to Article 3 of the Convention and therefore it held that the applicants’ expulsion order would not entail a violation of Article 3 of the Convention, taken alone or in conjunction with Article 13. Based on an unofficial translation from within the EWLU team.
ECtHR M.N. and Others v. Türkiye: The Court found no violation of Article 3 in the enforcement of Tajik applicants’ expulsion order
21 Jun 2022 | News