HFHR issues opinion on asylum procedure of Ameer Alkhawlany
As a community organisation, the HFHR takes part in the procedure for granting international protection to Mr Ameer Alkhawlany, an Iraqi national and a PhD student at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. The HFHR prepared its opinion in this case and submitted it to the Council for Foreigners, the body that hears appeals against decisions refusing the grant of refugee status and subsidiary protection.
The Foundation argues that the denial of access to case files and the sealing of parts of the reasons for the first instance court’s judgment have effectively prevented Mr Alkhawlany and his attorney from learning about the grounds for the dismissal of Mr Alkhawlany’s asylum application. According to the HFHR, such a situation violates a procedural standard adopted by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the rights guaranteed in the Polish Constitution and EU laws.
The above standards require the existence of certain guarantees of the right to a defence such as access to confidential documents through a special counsel.
In the HFHR’s assessment, this problem is not caused by the practice of asylum authorities in this particular case but rather relates to certain provisions of Polish law which are unconstitutional, and incompatible with EU law and the UNHCR standard.