by Hajar ABDULRAZAK YAHYA
against the United Kingdom
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 8 September 2009 as a Chamber composed of:
Lech Garlicki, President,
Nebojša Vučinić, judges,
and Lawrence Early, Section Registrar,
Having regard to the above application lodged on 5 October 2007,
Having regard to the interim measure indicated to the respondent Government under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court,
Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government and the observations in reply submitted by the applicant,
Having deliberated, decides as follows:
The applicant, Ms Hajar Abdulrazak Yahya, is a Sudanese national who was born in 1974 and lives in Huddersfield. She is represented before the Court by Ms R. Keefe of the Aire Centre, a lawyer practising in London. The United Kingdom Government (“the Government”) are represented by their Agent, Ms E. Wilmott, of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.
The applicant left Sudan on 30 September 2006 and arrived in the United Kingdom on 24 October 2006. She applied for asylum the following day on the basis that she belonged to the Fur tribe from West Darfur. She said that in June 2006 she had been raped by Janjaweed militia, that her husband, father and two brothers had been killed by Janjaweed militia, and that she had no idea of the whereabouts of her mother and five children.
Her asylum claim was refused on 10 November 2006. The Secretary of State for the Home Department disbelieved her account because she did not speak the Fur language, she had not officially informed immigration officials that she had been raped, and her account of her journey to the United Kingdom was considered to be far-fetched.
The applicant appealed to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (“AIT”). She submitted expert evidence which suggested that failure to speak the Fur language was not conclusive evidence that someone did not come from the Fur tribe, that it was not surprising that a Darfuri woman would be reluctant to mention rape to a male immigration official, and that the applicant, as a single woman, would be particularly vulnerable if returned to Khartoum. Nevertheless, the AIT dismissed the appeal on 3 October 2007.
On 29 November 2007 the AIT refused to grant the applicant’s request for an order for reconsideration.
The applicant was pregnant when she arrived in the United Kingdom and she alleges that, despite complaining of abdominal pain and bleeding, she was denied medical assistance in the detention centre until she collapsed and was taken to hospital, where she was found to have suffered a miscarriage. She commenced civil proceedings against the immigration authorities.
The applicant complained that her removal to Sudan would violate her rights under Article 3 of the Convention. She also complained that while in detention she was ill-treated by the immigration authorities.
By letter dated 21 October 2008 the Government’s observations were sent to the applicant’s representative, who was requested to submit any observations together with any claims for just satisfaction in reply by 2 December 2008. The Court subsequently extended this deadline and the applicant’s observations were received by the Court on 3 March 2009. They were sent to the Government by letter dated 17 March 2009.
On 8 April 2009 the Government informed the Court that they planned to grant the applicant refugee status. On 27 April 2009 the applicant was granted leave to remain in the United Kingdom as a refugee.
On 19 June 2009 the applicant’s representative confirmed that she wished to withdraw her application to the Court.
The Court considers that, in these circumstances, the applicant may be regarded as no longer wishing to pursue her application, 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.
For these reasons, the Court unanimously
Decides to strike the application out of its list of cases and discontinue the application of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court.
Lawrence Early Lech Garlicki