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Source: Amnesty International –

Belgium: European court rules deportation to Sudan was unlawful

The European Court of Human Rights today found that Belgium breached international law in 2017 when it deported a Sudanese man to Khartoum without determining the risks he might have faced upon return and with the cooperation of Sudanese security officials, a ruling which highlights the Belgian authorities’ failure to protect people fleeing human rights violations.

M.A. v. Belgium concerns the case of a Sudanese national who was apprehended by Belgian authorities in Brussels, detained and subsequently deported without an assessment of the risk of human rights violations upon return. In order to facilitate M.A’s return, Belgian authorities enabled Sudanese officials to meet with M.A. and he was also pressured into signing a paper acknowledging the return as “voluntary”.

Today’s ruling exposes a distressing catalogue of failures by Belgian authorities. These failures resulted in the return of a person to his country of origin in violation of international law. By cutting corners to ensure M.A’s prompt deportation to Sudan and by failing to assess the risks he would be exposed to upon return, the Belgian authorities failed their human rights obligations.