Beatrice Gornati

'Safe Third Countries', Chain-refoulement and Arbitrary Detention: The "Ilias and Ahmed" Case

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Hungary; Safe Third Country; Transit Zone; Asylum; Detention; "Refoulement"

On 14 March 2017, the European Court of Human Rights gave its judgment in case "Ilias and Ah- med v. Hungary". The case concerned two Bangladeshi nationals who transited through Greece, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia before reaching Hungary, where they immediately applied for asylum and were held in a transit zone for 23 days. They were then sent back to Serbia based on a 2015 Government Decree listing Serbia as a 'safe third country'. The Court alleged violations of art. 5 par. 4 ECHR - because the confinement of claimants in the transit zone had amounted to a "de facto" deprivation of their liberty - and art. 3 ECHR - because of the lack of effective guarantees to protect the applicants from a risk of being subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment due to a possible 'chain-"refoulement"'.

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