Our client (M) is an Iranian asylum seeker who had fled his home country after being tortured for political reasons. M was detained on arrival to the United Kingdom. The Home Office had decided to remove him to Croatia under the Dublin III regulation, as he had previously been fingerprinted by the authorities there before arriving in the United Kingdom. M had informed the Home Office that he had been mistreated by the Croatian border police and forcibly moved on when he had travelled across the Croatian border. M’s asylum claim had been refused and certified on the grounds that he could be removed to a safe third country.
We made representations to the Home Office, requesting they reconsider the decision to remove our client. When these representations were refused, we wrote a letter before claim, advancing three grounds of challenge. Firstly, we argued that Article 13 of the Dublin Regulation did not apply to our client as it had been more than 12 months since his border crossing in Croatia. Secondly, we submitted that on the basis of our client’s particular circumstances, being a victim of torture with serious mental health issues, his removal would infringe his rights as protected by Article 3.
Finally, we challenged the lawfulness of our client’s continued detention on the grounds that the mandatory restrictions as imposed by Article 28 of the Dublin III regulation had not been met. Under Article 28, detention is permissible only where there is a significant risk of absconding, where another less intrusive measure would not suffice and where the individual has been provided with the true legal and factual basis for their detention. From the decisions of the Home Office, it became apparent that these legal safeguards had not been applied in M’s case.
The Home Office responded to our pre-action correspondence, maintaining our client’s detention on the incorrect legal basis and set removal directions. We were able to secure emergency funding to lodge proceedings in the High Court, halting our client’s removal and ensuring his release from detention. In response to our challenge, the Home Office agreed to consider our client’s asylum claim in the United Kingdom. We were also able to negotiate a substantial sum for our client to settle his unlawful detention claim, negating the need to pursue costly and time-consuming litigation.
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