Austria delays expelling Afghan as security deteriorates

Published: 09:55 PM, 3 Aug, 2021
Austria delays expelling Afghan as security deteriorates
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Austria on Tuesday postponed deporting an Afghan citizen after the European Court of Human Rights warned of the deteriorating security situation in his home country.

The Austrian government said it heeded the court's temporary injunction while stressing that it concerned only one individual and did "not amount to a general ban," the Austrian Press Agency reported. 

The Austrian interior ministry did not immediately reply to a query from AFP.

In a letter addressed Monday to the Austrian government and published Tuesday on Twitter by an NGO, the ECHR said the petitioner should not be expelled by Austria before August 31.

The petitioner, an Afghan citizen wishing to remain anonymous, is challenging the expulsion order against him, which was to be carried out on Tuesday, according to the letter.

Contacted by AFP in Strasbourg, the court confirmed it had asked "both parties to reply to a certain number of questions".

The court said an expulsion under current conditions could amount to a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

It asks Austria to evaluate whether there exists a clear risk of irreparable harm to the petitioner if he is expelled as planned by August 3.

The court recalled that Afghanistan had urged Europe on July 11 to stop deportations for three months, which Finland, Sweden and Norway have done.

Security has been deteriorating as the Taliban have seized control of much of rural Afghanistan since US and other foreign forces began the last stage of their withdrawal in May.


Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.