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Administrative court rules in favour of Chechen refugee refused entry to Poland

The Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw has decided the case brought by the HFHR’s client, a refugee from Chechnya, who tried to file an application for international protection at the border crossing station in Terespol. The Border Guard did not accept the application and issued a decision refusing entry to Poland, which was based only on an official memo made by a Border Guard officer.

Presenting the verbal justification of the judgment, the court held that the memo reading that a foreigner wants to enter Poland for lucrative purposes may not be sufficient evidence of the motives guiding a foreigner seeking entry. The court ruled that in such situations a report should be drafted and that this report must include the foreigner’s signature confirming the truthfulness of information presented in the document.

“We are happy with this ruling and we expect that it will have an impact on the working practices of Border Guard officers in Terespol. We hope that foreign nationals’ applications for international protection will be properly documented and accepted for review”, says Daniel Witko, a lawyer representing the HFHR before the Provincial Administrative Court.

The HFHR has repeatedly alarmed about the situation at the Brest-Terspol border crossing station and emphasised that Border Guard officers did not observe laws and procedures governing the acceptance of asylum applications submitted by foreign nationals. To find out more about the problem, please refer to the HFHR report “A road to nowhere” and a video account of the visit of attorneys and representatives of NGOs at the border crossing station, during which attempts were made to offer assistance to foreign nationals applying for international protection. Ultimately, the majority of attorneys were not allowed to confer with their clients and foreign applicants were not provided with aid of an interpreter.

The HFHR has joined the case before the Provincial Administrative Court as a community organisation and the foreign national was represented pro bono by Mr Jacek Białas.

The court’s decision is not final.

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