Information Note on the Court’s case-law No. 184
Tatar v. Switzerland - 65692/12
Judgment 14.4.2015 [Section II] See: Chamber Judgment  ECHR 373
Proposed removal of a mentally-ill person at risk of blood feud and of torture by national authorities in country of destination: expulsion would not constitute a violation
Proposed removal of a mentally-ill person at risk of severe self-harm: expulsion would not constitute a violation
Facts - In 1994 the applicant and two of his sons were granted refugee status in Switzerland due to their political involvement in the Turkish Communist Party (TCP). His wife and other children followed them to Switzerland. In 2001 the applicant killed his wife and was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment. During the proceedings he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In March 2009 the Federal Office revoked his asylum status because of his conviction. Owing to his mental state he was ordered to stay in a psychiatric care facility for three years. Expert reports had indicated that he would remain unable to live on his own. In June 2010 the Migration Office revoked his residence permit and ordered him to leave Switzerland. The applicant appealed claiming that he was still protected by the principle of non-refoulement. He also alleged that his expulsion would lead to a deterioration of his mental health endangering his life and that he would be at risk of torture and ill-treatment by his wife’s family and the Turkish authorities. Although the applicant’s probation regarding his criminal conviction was prolonged until July 2016, the order to leave the country still remained in force without a date of removal.
Law - Articles 2 and 3: The Court had to determine whether there was a real risk that the expulsion would be contrary to the standards of Articles 2 and 3. The alleged lack of possibilities for the applicant’s medical treatment in Turkey was refuted by information provided by the respondent Government. Although not necessarily available in his hometown, care was available in bigger cities in Turkey. The respondent Government had stated that the applicant’s fitness to travel would be checked before his departure and the Turkish authorities informed of the medical treatment required.
Whilst noting the seriousness of the applicant’s medical condition and the risk of relapse, the Court did not find compelling humanitarian grounds against his removal. Unlike the position in D. v. the United Kingdom, the applicant did not have a terminal illness without prospects of medical care or family support upon removal. He had failed to substantiate his fear of being exposed to a blood feud throughout the entire country. The Court considered it to be possible for him to find a place to live outside his hometown taking into account that family members would be able to assist him. With regard to his former membership in the TCP, the applicant did not dispute that he had not been politically active for more than 20 years and that members of his family who resided in Switzerland had travelled to Turkey without any difficulties. In the Court’s view, he had not sufficiently substantiated his fears that there remained against him a personal threat contrary to Articles 2 or 3. No substantial grounds had been shown for believing that the applicant ’s medical condition, the threat of blood feud or his political past would amount to a real risk of him being subjected to treatment contrary to Articles 2 or 3.
Conclusion: expulsion would not constitute a violation (six votes to one).
(See also D. v. the United Kingdom, 30240/96, 2 May 1997; Bensaid v. the United Kingdom, 44599/98, 6 February 2001, Information Note 27; and Aswat v. the United Kingdom, 17299/12, 16 April 2013, Information Note 162; see, more generally, the Factsheets on Expulsions and extraditions and on Mental health)
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This summary by the Registry does not bind the Court.
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