Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

MFA: The European Court of Human Rights annulled its judgment concerning Finland in the case of the return of an asylum-seeker to Iraq

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On 13 July 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a decision, which annuls the Court’s previous judgment concerning Finland in the case of N.A. v. Finland relating to the return of an asylum-seeker to Iraq in its entirety.

The ECtHR rejected the applicant’s application (no. 25244/18) as an abuse of the right of individual application. The Court considered that the applicant had knowingly deceived the Court by presenting false evidence. If the facts had been known to the Court before it issued its decision, the application would have been considered inadmissible under Article 35, paragraph 3(a) of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

In accordance with the judgment issued on 14 November 2019, which was now annulled in its entirety, the ECtHR considered that Finland had violated Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment) of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.  The ECtHR ordered the State to pay the applicant EUR 20,000 in respect of non‑pecuniary damage and EUR 4,500 in respect of legal costs. The compensation determined in the judgment has not been awarded.

On 6 March 2020, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) launched a criminal investigation of a suspected aggravated fraud and aggravated forgery that are linked to the documents and evidence submitted by the appellant to the European Court of Human Rights. In a decision issued by the Helsinki District Court on 11 February 2021, the appellant was sentenced to 1 year and 10 months' imprisonment for aggravated fraud and aggravated forgery and a false statement in official proceedings. The processing of the matter is still pending in the Helsinki Court of Appeal.

In accordance with Rule 80 of the Rules of Court, a party may, in the event of the discovery of a fact which might by its nature have a decisive influence and which, when a judgment was delivered, was unknown to the Court and could not reasonably have been known to that party, request the Court, within a period of six months after that party acquired knowledge of the fact, to revise that judgment. Finland submitted a request under Rule 80 to the European Court of Human Rights on 6 September 2020. The request was complemented after the criminal investigation and national judicial proceedings progressed.

The full judgement is available in the HUDOC database.

Inquiries: Krista Oinonen, Agent of the Finnish Government before the ECtHR and Director of the Unit for Human Rights Courts and Conventions, tel. +358 295 351 172.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ email addresses follow the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi.

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