Expulsion without waiting, or how the Immigration Office does not bother with a court decision

 

23/04/2024

Mr B. is from Ethiopia and was arrested at Zaventem airport in December 2023. Following his arrest, he lodged an initial asylum application in Belgium, then a second one after he had obtained more information to support his claim. On 9 April 2024, his second application was refused. As a result, an appeal was lodged with the The Aliens Litigation Council (Conseil du Contentieux des Etrangers) (CCE), challenging the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGVS) ‘s decision.

The hearing to deal with the appeal was scheduled to take place (and did take place) on Friday 19 April, at 11am. However, the Immigration Office scheduled a third deportation attempt for the same day at 9.25pm, without waiting for the CCE’s final decision on the appeal.

An e-mail campaign had been launched to the authorities responsible:

    “Dear Sir/Madam,

        Today we were informed that you intend to forcibly expel Mr Sintayehu Getachew Bekele from Ethiopia to his country of origin today, Friday 19 April.

    Yet on that same date, a hearing is scheduled before the Aliens Litigation Council following the appeal he lodged against the decision of the Office of the CGVS. By planning his expulsion on this same date, before a decision by the CCE can be made, you are deliberately taking the decision to send Mr Sintayehu Getachew Bekele back to a country he is fleeing, and in which there is a civil war! In so doing, you are deliberately preventing him from availing himself of the legal remedies to which he is entitled and from possibly benefiting from international protection. You are also challenging the legitimacy of the CCE, which could rule against the CGVS‘s decision to refuse him international protection.

    We urge you to respect the time limits of the procedures underway, to allow a competent administrative court to do its work and thus not to trample on Mr Sintayehu Getachew Bekele’s fundamental rights.”

 

On 22 April, we learned that the The Aliens Litigation Council (CCE) had ruled in favour of Mr B. and overturned the CGRA’s decision. This means that, following this decision, the CGVS is obliged to reopen the application for international protection. However, Mr B. has certainly already been deported. We’ve had no news of him since Friday, and we don’t know how he got back to Ethiopia.

The Immigration Office was informed of the CCE’s decision before the planned expulsion, but nevertheless maintained its decision to forcibly expel Mr B. to Addis Ababa on Friday 19 April. We denounce this deportation, which was carried out without any respect for court rulings and justice.

#STOPDEPORTATIONS

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