A judge in Bratislava on February 4 upheld the appeal of Algerian asylum-seeker Mustafa Labsi against a decision by the Slovak Interior Ministry's Migration Office last year not to grant him asylum in Slovakia and referred the case back to the ministry.
Specifying in its ruling that its decision could not be appealed, the Bratislava Regional Court said the ministry failed to reveal relevant information about Labsi's country of origin, based on which the migration authorities could objectively decide on whether to grant him asylum.
Suspected by the authorities of working with the international terrorist network al Qaeda, Labsi was freed from a special prison for foreigners in Meďvedov (Trnava region) on February 3 after he had been held for 180 days, the maximum period of detention in such cases. The regional court judge stated that the ministry also gave insufficient evidence to support its rejection of Labsi's asylum application on the ground that he posed a danger to the Slovak Republic.
Labsi’s lawyer told the court his client faced torture and inhumane treatment in his home country. Labsi was arrested by the Slovak police on May 4, 2007, when attempting to cross the Slovak-Austrian border illegally; however, he has never committed a crime in Slovakia. He was released on August 5, 2008, only to be detained by Slovakia's Foreign Police on the same day.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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5. Feb 2009 at 10:00