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Top administrative court dismisses Border Guard’s appeal against judgment revoking entry refusal decision issued against Chechen refugee

The Supreme Administrative Court has decided the case brought by 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.

The Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw revoked this decision. PAC ruled held that the memo, which reads that a foreigner wants to enter Poland for lucrative purposes, was not 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.

Commander of the Border Guard submitted a complaint in cassation against this judgment.

In today’s judgment, SAC held that an official report should have been made as part of proceedings for the refusal of entry. The asylum seeker should have signed such a report, confirming the content of the interview with a Border Guard officer at the border crossing station. Only such a report can provide the basis for the assertion that the foreign national wanted or did not want to apply for international protection in Poland.

SAC also found that, given the circumstances of the case such as the foreign national’s multiple attempts to enter Poland or her statement of willingness to apply for international protection included in the appeal against the refusal of entry decision, the Border Guard should not have considered that the motive behind the foreign national’s attempted entry to Poland is evidently economic.

“We are happy with this ruling and we expect that it will have a decisive 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 Supreme Administrative Court.

The HFHR has repeatedly expressed concern over 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 applications for international protection submitted by foreign nationals.

Poland’s top administrative court has so far received another four complaints in cassation made by HFHR’s clients – Tajikistani nationals who were refused entry by border officers at the border crossing station in Medyka. Dates of the hearings of those complaints are yet to be set.

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

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