A Moroccan national has lost a case against the Netherlands at the European Court of Human Rights over his deportation for drugs-related offences.
Farid Loukili argued a 2017 decision to revoke his residency permit and ban him from re-entering the country was disproportionate and violated his right to family life, as protected by the European Convention of Human Rights, because it would separate him from his children.
Loukili moved at age three with his family from his native Morocco to the Netherlands and was granted a permanent residency permit in 2001. The 45-year-old has two sons with his Dutch ex-girlfriend.
Between 2000 and 2012, Loukili was convicted of drugs-related offences on four occasions, including selling heroin and cocaine. In light of his multiple convictions, the Dutch government, in 2017, notified him that it was revoking his residency permit and banning him from returning to the country for ten years.
He appealed against the decision, ultimately losing his case before the Dutch Supreme Court in 2019.
Loukili argued that the ban separated him from his children, who do not have Moroccan citizenship and have no means to travel regularly to visit him. He also told the court he has not been back to the country of his birth aside from a single visit in 2013.
The Dutch government pointed out that he never even acknowledged the paternity of his eldest son and spent most of their lives in detention. Loukili’s ex-girlfriend has full custody of both boys.
The Strasbourg-based court found that since Loukili had been convicted of multiple offences over several years, it was reasonable to assume he might get involved in drugs trafficking again. ‘The national authorities cannot be said to have acted in an arbitrary or unreasonable manner in finding that there remained a risk of his reoffending in the future,’ the court wrote.
The judges further noted that he was able to stay in touch with his children via other means. ‘Contact by telephone and email can easily be maintained from Morocco,’ the court said.
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