A stateless person of Palestinian origin, born in Kuwait resided in Bulgaria with his two children who were born in Bulgaria and hold Bulgarian nationality. His permanent residence permit in Bulgaria was withdrawn on the grounds that he was engaged in alleged religious extremism, and he was detained and subsequently deported to Syria. The Court held that there had been a violation of Articles 5(§4), 8, and 13 ECHR as a result of the deportation. In this judgment, the Court outlines the procedural safeguards required by the ECHR in decisions to detain a person for the purposes of deportation, including where an allegation of a threat to national security is made. The guarantee of an effective remedy requires some form of adversarial proceedings, and that the competent independent appeals authority must be able to assess whether the conclusion that a person is a threat to national security, which justifies deportation, is arbitrary or unreasonable.
The case originated in an application against Bulgaria lodged by a stateless person of Palestinian origin. He had obtained subsidiary protection in Bulgaria, but was later served an expulsion order on national security grounds, detained for removal for 18 months and then released due to the impossibility of implementing the expulsion order. The Court reiterates that States have an obligation to identify a destination country in removal orders, stating that “In cases of aliens detained with a view to deportation, lack of clarity as to the destination country could hamper effective control of the authorities’ diligence in handling the deportation”. The Court held that detention with an uncertain destination is violates Articles 3, 5, and 13 ECHR.