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Foreigners: compulsory return decisions should be annulled

The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights asked the Head of the Office for Foreigners to declare invalid decisions which obligate foreigners to return to their countries of origin.

This should be done in respect of those foreigners who are legally eligible for a transfer to another Member State of the European Union under Dublin III regulation.

Furthermore, the HFHR asked the Commander of the Border Guard to release the foreigners placed at guarded immigration centres pending the enforcement of their compulsory return decisions. This applies to citizens of Syria, Iraq and other countries who arrived to Poland via Hungary, where they officially requested international protection.

“The HFHR is also concerned about the fact that foreigners were placed at guarded centres in an attempt to secure the enforcement of decisions that obliged them to return. Because of this, their detention was unjustified”, said Małgorzata Jaźwińska, a lawyer of the HFHR.

If a foreigner stays in Poland without a permit but is subject to Dublin III Regulation, a decision should be issued to transfer them to another Member State. In such a situation, it is legally impossible to issue a decision that would obligate the foreigner to return to their country of origin and prohibit them from re-entering the Schengen area.

“On the other hand, it was not until 13 November 2015 when the option of issuing a decision to transfer a foreigner to another Member State based on Dublin III Regulation appeared in Polish law – it was introduced by an amendment to a law on granting protection to foreigners”, says Jacek Białas, a lawyer working with the HFHR. This means that the decisions which obligated foreigners to return have been issued without a legal basis”, adds Mr Białas.

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