ECHR orders Dutch to pay Syrian refugee for unlawful detention

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg Photo: Dutch News

The European Court of Human Rights has found fault with the Netherlands for detaining a Syrian asylum seeker after he was released from prison.

M B, as he is identified in court records, was convicted of membership of a terrorist organisation in 2016, despite the public prosecutor arguing he should be acquitted. Following his release from prison, the now 27-year-old was placed in immigration detention.

His lawyer argued that, having served his sentence, placing him in further immigration detention violated his right to liberty. Following a series of appeals, he was ultimately granted asylum in 2018.

The Strasbourg court agreed, calling his detention “disproportionate” and “unnecessary.”

In the 38-page decision, the judges wrote that “Many of the steps required to assess the asylum application could have been taken during the criminal law detention without the need to subsequently keep the applicant in immigration detention.”

The court ordered the Netherlands to pay the man €4,560 in damages.

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