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Auad v. Bulgaria, No. 46390/10, ECtHR (Fourth Section), 11 October 2011


Expulsion of a stateless person on national security grounds based on terrorism allegations. Risk of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment in the country of destination. Unlawful detention. Rght to an effective remedy. Violation of arts. 3, 5 and 13 ECHR. 

Normative references

Art. 3 ECHR
Art. 5 ECHR
Art. 13 ECHR


1. A planned expulsion breaches the ECHR if there are substantial grounds to believe that there is a real risk that the person concerned would be subjected to treatment prohibited by art. 3 in the country of destination, even where he/she is considered to constitute a threat to national security. Thus, any national-security considerations in the applicant’s case are irrelevant to the only salient issue: whether his expulsion would give rise to a real risk of proscribed treatment. The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court has not assessed this risk. There are no sufficient grounds to believe that ill-treatment of the applicant in the country of destination (Lebanon) will be avoided, therefore deciding to expel him results in a violation of art. 3 ECHR. 

2. The applicant was offered no mechanism or procedure to challenge the decision according to which he will not be subjected to torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment. This constitutes a breach of art. 13 ECHR. 

3. The applicant was detained pending his expulsion. However, although the maximum period for detention established by domestic law was not exceeded, national authorities did not act to conduct the procedure with due diligence  (they only wrote to the Lebanese Embassy to request some travel documents). Consequently, the applicant's detention was unlawful and in breach of art. 5 ECHR.