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Polish Administrative Court admits complaint of foreigner denied international protection

The Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw has decided a case of a Chechen citizen of Russian Federation who seeks international protection in Poland. Even though a psychologist’s report describes that the man suffers from psychological disorders, possibly resulting from torture, Polish authorities failed to investigate the issue properly and refused to grant him international protection.In the course of asylum proceedings, the foreign national submitted that he is a member of a family who filed an application to the European Court of Human Rights, alleging human rights violations on the part of Chechen authorities. He also argued that he had been persecuted and tortured on suspicion of aiding Chechen rebels.

PAC in Warsaw ruled that the Council for Foreigners had not sufficiently addressed the arguments presented by the foreigner but merely disregarded his explanations as not credible, thereby committing a violation of rules of the administrative procedure.

We hope that this ruling has an impact on the practice of Polish authorities responsible for considering applications of foreign asylum-seekers. “Authorities are obliged to diligently investigate any torture-related circumstances of an applicant, especially if facts of a case suggest that the applicant might have been a victim of torture. Such an investigation should involve medical or psychological evaluations. Also, discrepancies that may appear in the testimony of such persons can’t be cited as default grounds for refusing an asylum application because such discrepancies can be a consequence of applicants’ fragile mental state, also caused by torture”, said Jacek Białas, an attorney working for the HFHR.

The foreigner was represented by Ms Małgorzata Jaźwińska.

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