On October 24, 2023, the ECtHR declared that the Netherlands was responsible for violating the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment by expelling a Bahraini national without carrying out a rigorous risk analysis. The applicant, is Mr. A.M.A., a Bahraini national. In 2017, Mr. A.M.A. arrived in the Netherlands and applied for asylum, claiming that he was suffering political persecution and ill-treatment in his country because of his membership in the opposition movement “Barbar Revolutionary Youth”. Specifically, Mr. A.M.A. argued that he had been included in a list of terrorists given his affiliation with this group. However, the Netherlands authorities rejected his application alleging that Mr. A.M.A. was not politically active and that there were no sufficient grounds to prove that he was being persecuted in Bahrain. Therefore, Mr. A.M.A. asked for a judicial review, but it was declared inadmissible and his deportation to Bahrain was scheduled for October 20, 2018. Until that day, he remained in immigration detention. The day before his expulsion, Mr. A.M.A. submitted further documents to the Netherlands authorities showing that he was being persecuted by the Bahraini authorities. However, the relevant authorities considered that there were no elements to grant him asylum and they proceeded to deport him. On his arrival in Bahrain, Mr. A.M.A. was immediately arrested, allegedly tortured and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment.

The ECtHR concluded that Article 3 of the ECHR was violated in its procedural aspect, because the Netherlands authorities failed to consider the risk of ill-treatment that Mr. A.M.A. would face if he was deported to Bahrain. In this regard, the ECtHR argued that the applicant had submitted enough information on the actual existence of that risk, such as a statement by a leader of the opposition group to which he belonged, and transcripts of interviews in which he said several times that he was afraid to return to his country because he was on the list of alleged terrorists. Furthermore, the ECtHR decided that the failure to analyze the documents that Mr. A.M.A. submitted the day before his deportation was a form of disregarding the potential relevance of his situation, which is contrary to the State’s obligation to examine the asylum request rigorously and cautiously. The judgment can be found here and the press release here.