On the 13th of July 2023, the ECtHR ruled in its judgment A.A. v Sweden, no. 4677/20. The case concerned a Libyan national, A.A., who applied for asylum in Sweden, first claiming that he was at risk from the Libyan mafia. He then reapplied for asylum in Sweden claiming that he was on a wanted list in Libya and would be at risk of ill-treatment if returned because he had worked for the Gaddafi regime, but his request was again rejected.

The ECtHR first recognised that violations of human rights and international humanitarian law have continued in Libya, and that the general situation remains serious and fragile. However, it cannot be said that the general violence is so extreme, that there is a real risk of ill-treatment simply by virtue of an individual being exposed to such violence on return.

The ECtHR then held that it had no reason to doubt Sweden’s conclusions with regard to the applicant’s personal circumstances, which had been reached following a thorough examination containing rational grounds. The basis for these conclusions was that his oral statements were vague, lacking detail and coherence, and that he did not submit any written evidence of a rudimentary nature of arrest warrants in respect of him. Hence, the applicant’s asylum statements lacked credibility, and he had failed to substantiate his alleged affiliation with the Gaddafi regime and the warrant for his arrest in Libya and accordingly his need for international protection. The ECtHR therefore held that the applicant’s removal would not violate Article 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights  (ECHR).