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*Law of Aliens

Published on May 11th, 2018 | by Georgia Archonti

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Belgium: Council for Alien Law Litigation rules on personal circumstances and subsidiary protection for Iraqi applicants

On 29 March 2018, the Belgian Council for Alien Law Litigation (CALL) ruled in case no. 201 900 regarding two Iraqi nationals, who feared being persecuted and killed for being Sunni by the Iraqi Shi’a paramilitary group known as “Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq”, and who had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in Belgium.

First, the CALL took into account the applicant’s additional information that, after lodging their asylum application, their house was confiscated by the paramilitary group. The CALL ruled that the national authorities had not challenged the fact that the applicant’s house had been confiscated, that the applicants were of Sunni background and that they no longer have any family in Bagdad. It also rejected the argument of the asylum authorities that the applicants could have hired a lawyer to challenge the confiscation of their house by the paramilitary group. However, the CALL did not conclude that the applicants had to be granted refugee status as the family had not been individually targeted by the paramilitary group since the house had been confiscated due to its size and strategic location.

Secondly, the Council for Alien Law Litigation referred to its decision of November 2017 on the direction that the sole fact that an asylum applicant is from Bagdad does not suffice to justify the granting of subsidiary protection, which must be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the personal circumstances of the applicant, which could indicate that the applicant would have a higher risk to be a victim of indiscriminate violence in Bagdad.

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