1163/08 and 1170/08
by Reza MOHAMADI and Arach AHMADIAN
The European Court of Human Rights (Second Section), sitting on 1 September 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Ireneu Cabral Barreto,
Işıl Karakaş, judges,
and Sally Dollé, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above applications lodged on 8 January 2008,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicants, Mr Reza Mohamadi and Arach Ahmadian, are Iranian nationals who were born in 1974 and were being held in Silopi police headquarters, in Şırnak, at the time of their applications to the Court. Their current whereabouts are unknown. The Turkish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
The applicants are former members of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation in Iran (“PMOI”) and lived in a camp created by the United States forces in Iraq prior to their arrival to Turkey. While in Iraq, on 5 May 2006 the applicants were given refugee status under the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
On 7 January 2008 the applicants arrived in Turkey illegally along with five other persons. They were arrested by security forces.
On 8 January 2008 the Silopi Magistrates’ Court convicted the applicants and other five persons of illegal entry into Turkey but decided to defer the imposition of a sentence. Subsequently, deportation proceedings were initiated.
On 8 January 2008 the applicants’ former representative lodged the present applications and four other cases on behalf of other persons who had entered into Turkey illegally (applications nos. 1157/08, 1165/08, 1174/08 and 1175/08) and requested the Court to halt their deportation to Iran or Iraq.
On 10 January 2008 the President of the Chamber to which the case was allocated decided, in the interests of the parties and the proper conduct of the proceedings before the Court, to indicate to the Government of Turkey, under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, that the applicants should not be deported to Iran until 23 January 2008.
On 23 January 2008 the President of the Chamber decided to prolong the application of the Rule 39 measure until the Court had determined the applications.
On 30 January 2008 the applicants and other five persons were released from the Silopi police headquarters and were allowed to reside in a hotel in Silopi subject to police supervision. Between 30 January and 16 February 2008 they reported to the Silopi police headquarters everyday. On the latter date they disappeared. The domestic authorities issued a search warrant in their respect. Some of these people later informed the Court that they were now living in France, Switzerland and the Netherlands, but the applicants’ whereabouts are unknown.
On 1 July 2008 the applicants’ representative informed the Court that she had lost contact with the applicants and that she no longer wished to represent them before the Court.
The applicants have not themselves contacted the Court to date.
The applicants complained under Articles 2 and 3 that their removal to Iran or Iraq would expose them to a real risk of death or ill treatment as they were former members of the PMOI. The applicants further maintained, under Article 13 of the Convention, that they had been prevented from lodging an asylum claim and from challenging their deportation.
The applicants submitted under Article 5 §§ 2 and 4, that they had not been informed of the reasons for their detention and that they had not been able to challenge the lawfulness of it.
The Court finds it appropriate to join the applications given their common factual background.
The Court further notes that the applicants have failed to contact the Court following their release from Silopi police headquarters. Nor did they authorise their former representative to continue the conduct of the present proceedings on their behalf. Moreover, their current whereabouts are unknown.
The Court considers that, in these circumstances, the applicants may be regarded as no longer wishing to pursue their applications, within the meaning of Article 37 § 1 (a) of the Convention. Furthermore, in accordance with Article 37 § 1 in fine, the Court finds no special circumstances regarding respect for human rights as defined in the Convention and its Protocols which require the continued examination of the case. In view of the above, it is appropriate to strike the case out of the list and to discontinue the application of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to join the applications;
Decides to strike the applications out of its list of cases.
Sally Dollé Françoise