News Local Court rules asylum seeker must remain in custody

Court rules asylum seeker must remain in custody



A Syrian asylum seeker will remain in custody at Menoyia because he poses a security threat to the Republic of Cyprus, Phileleftheros reports citing a decision of the Supreme Court.

It said the court rejected a Habeas Corpus application asking that it rule his detention since August 21, 2019 as illegal.

The applicant travelled from Turkey to the Turkish occupied areas on May 7, 2019. He crossed into the government controlled areas the next day and was arrested. Police determined that his name was of the stop list for terrorism since December 22, 2014 and a court order was issued the same day for him to be detained for national security reasons.

On May 10, 2019 he applied for international protection status and on July 3 of the same year applied to the administrative court on international protection for the detention order to be revoked. His application was rejected on July 31.

The latest court decision follows the applicant’s third attempt to secure his release.

A letter was submitted to court by police immigration dated May 19, 2020 that the man should remain in custody because he continues to pose a danger to national security.

According to a report by the Asylum Service, the man does not qualify for refugee status. Although he would have been allowed complementary protection, he has been excluded because of crimes against peace, war crimes or crimes against humanity. According to the court’s decision, the evidence linking the applicant to a terrorist organisation is based on a statement given by his brother to police in September, 2014.

The brother, who lives in Cyprus, implicates the applicant in actions that deem him to be a supporter of DAESH (ISIS). The applicant had been in Cyprus from 2007 to 2014 but left for Syria in 2014.

According to the brother’s statement, the applicant had gone to Syria, joined DAESH and posted photos of DAESH fighters on Facebook.

The applicant denies he has links with DAESH, but during questioning admitted that he was involved the organisation Ahrar al Sham, which through described as a terrorist organisation by the EU, UN and US, cooperates with terrorist organisations and its actions are considered war crimes.

The applicant gave a different explanation for going to Syria in 2014 and said the photos posted on Facebook are not of terrorists but fighters opposed to the Syrian regime.

The court said that it was not evaluate the facts to decide on whether authorities’ decision was correct. During an examination of a Habeas Corpus application, the court does not examine the information but checks on whether the procedure followed had been lawful.

It found that there was facts giving adequate grounds to justify the administration’s decision to conclude that the applicant continues to post a threat and should remain in custody.

The Supreme Court concludes that since the deadline to appeal the asylum service’s decision had not expired, the applicant continues to be considered an applicant for international protection.

Meanwhile, as long as he is considered a danger to security, his detention is considered necessary unless there is a delay in the procedures to render his detention unjustified or abusive, and therefore unlawful.


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