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Administrative court revokes Government’s decision to expel Azamat Bayduev following HFHR’s intervention

♦ The Voivodship Administrative Court in Warsaw has revoked the decision of the Minister of the Interior and Administration which ordered the return of Azamat Bayduev to Russia. HFHR intervened in the proceedings.

♦ The Foundation claims that the foreigner has not been provided with basic procedural guarantees during the expulsion proceedings. This was a consequence of certain documents being classified and of Polish immigration authorities failing to give sufficient reasons for the decision. The authorities also did not consider whether the return to the country of origin would expose the foreigner to the risk of torture.

♦ Expulsion of a foreigner to a country where they are at risk of torture constitutes a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Bayduev expelled from Poland based on the Interior Ministry’s decision

The case concerns Azamat Bayduev, a Russian citizen of Chechen nationality deported from Poland to Russia in August 2018. The foreigner was expelled in the implementation of the decision of the Minister of the Interior and Administration ordering his return to Russia, which was issued on the basis of anti-terrorism laws enacted in 2016. According to these laws, the Ministry of the Interior and Administration issues an immediately enforceable decision ordering a foreigner to return if there is a concern that the foreigner is engaged in terrorism or espionage activities.

The Minister issued the decision on Mr Bayduev’s return based on a classified memo of the Internal Security Agency and the foreigner and his attorney were denied access to this document in the course of the proceedings. The Minister also exercised the option to withhold factual reasons for issuing the decision, invoking national security considerations. As a result, the foreigner did not receive any justification for his expulsion from Poland. The Minister also failed to examine whether the foreigner’s concerns about his return to Russia, which the man raised during the proceedings, were justified and as such provided sufficient grounds for not issuing the expulsion decision and for granting the foreigner a remedy against expulsion.

“Bayduev was denied basis procedural guarantees”. The HFHR intervenes in the case

“We’ve decided to join the case as a social organization for two reasons. First, the case presents a problem that we have been addressing for many years now, namely the failure to provide foreigners who are expelled as ‘a national security risk’ with basic procedural guarantees such as the right to know the reasons for the issuance of the expulsion decision or to right to fully exercise their right to a defence. Second, the case of Mr Bayduev involved a high risk that he would be detained and tortured in Russia. Regrettably, we have been informed that this is exactly what actually happened, says HFHR’s lawyer Marta Górczyńska who represented the Foundation in the proceedings before the administrative court.

According to Amnesty International, which monitors the case, immediately after his transfer from Poland to Russia, the foreigner was detained by the Russian secret services, moved to an undisclosed location and then imprisoned.

During yesterday’s hearing before the Voivodship Administrative Court in Warsaw, the HFHR presented its views on the case, arguing that the Minister’s decision should be revoked. The VAC agreed with this view and emphasised in its ruling that the Minister’s obligation was to consider whether it is necessary to grant the foreigner protection against expulsion in the event that the foreigner is at risk of being subjected to torture or inhuman treatment upon return to his country of origin. However, the Minister did not comply with this legal obligation. At the same time, the court did not find any procedural infringements due to the foreigner’s being denied access to documents justifying his expulsion.

HFHR’s statement on the case (polish version) can be accessed here.

Case timeline:

  • 4 April 2018 – the Minister of the Interior and Administration issues a decision ordering the return of Azamat Bayduev to Russia.
  • 10 April 2018 – Mr Bayduev is arrested and put in immigration detention
  • 20 April 2018 – the foreigner submits a request to the Minister seeking re-examination of his case; he justifies the request by, among other things, his fear of torture in Russia.
  • 25 May 2018 – the Minister upholds his own decision.
  • 22 June 2018 – a complaint against the Minister’s decision is filed with the Voivodship Administrative Court in Warsaw.
  • 31 August 2018 – the foreigner is deported to Russia.
  • 5 November 2019 – Warsaw VAC revokes the Minister’s decision.

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