Skip to content
Support our work

S.S. v. Latvia – 15408/23

Country Latvia
Court ECtHR
Relevant Law Article 3, Article 13
Year 2023
Found for N/A

The application concerns events in the vicinity of the Latvian-Belarusian border from 18 September 2021 until 9 March 2022 and the investigation into those events by the Latvian authorities. The applicant is a national of Guinea.

The applicant entered Latvia on foot on 18 September 2021. The applicant was allegedly pushed back on many occasions to the territory of Belarus, which was not a safe country, where he was not allowed to enter or, if he entered, he was pushed back to Latvia. The applicant’s requests for asylum were not registered and reviewed by the Latvian authorities, but fingerprints were taken from him. On 9 March 2022 the applicant was taken to a border guard station in Latvia and, subsequently, to a closed accommodation centre for detained foreigners in Daugavpils. There, on 11 March 2022, he submitted a request for international protection. On 8 November 2022 the Internal Security Bureau refused to institute criminal proceedings for lack of a crime. By a final decision of 28 November 2022 a prosecutor upheld that decision. The applicant received that decision on 1 December 2022.

The applicant complains that from 18 September 2021 to 9 March 2022 he was returned to Belarus without his asylum claims having been registered and reviewed by the Latvian authorities. In this respect, he claims that Latvian officials intentionally subjected him to physical and psychological suffering to coerce him to abandon his intention to seek international protection in Latvia and that the conditions in the tent were inadequate (no basic amenities such as food, water, adequate medical care, appropriate shelter and clothing). He also claims that he suffered from violent and repeated pushbacks to Belarus. Lastly, he alleges that the Latvian authorities failed to conduct an effective investigation into his allegations. He relies on Article 3, taken alone and in conjunction with Article 13 of the Convention.

According to the latest available information, the applicant is held in an open accommodation centre for asylum seekers in Mucenieki, Latvia.