On 3rd of July, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Austria’s deporting Mr. Qadam Shah Mohammadi, an asylum seeker, to Hungary would not lead to a violation of the Convention. Mr. Mohammadi alleged that deportation would lead to inhuman and degrading treatment, could subject him to detention under deplorable conditions, and that he would run the risk of being deported from Hungary to Serbia. We apologize to our readers that our reflections on the verdict come only now, two months later, but we feel like it is absolutely crucial for us to share our thoughts, because the verdict may carry significant consequences for people's lives for years to come and also because ECHR judgements about the Hungarian asylum system are rather rare. First, let's start with some background:
Who is Mohammadi?
Before we go into our actual critique and thoughts regarding the verdict, let's look at the background of the case. Mohammadi, born probably in 1995 (he does not know his exact date of birth), is from Ghazni, Afghanistan. Six years after his father died, he fled Afghanistan and made a big part of his trip to Europe by foot. In Greece, where the asylum system has been dysfunctional for many years, Mohammadi was not registered as an asylum seeker. Instead, he continued his way to Hungary, where he applied for asylum shortly after crossing the border. He says there was no effective, proper age assessment completed. After a short while in an open refugee camp in Hungary, Mohammadi continued his way to Austria, and applied for asylum in Austria.