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Hungary/Sweden: Sweden Stops Deportation and Relocation of Asylum Seekers to Hungary

(Mar. 4, 2016) On March 2, 2016, the Swedish Migration Court of the Stockholm Administrative Court revoked the decision by the Swedish Migration Authority to send asylum seekers who had sought asylum both in Sweden and in Hungary back to Hungary in conformity with the Dublin Regulation. (Press Release, Migration Court of Stockholm Administrative Court, Migrationsdomstolen stoppar överföringar till Ungern [Migration Court Stops Transfers to Hungary] (Mar. 2, 2016), Stockholm Administrative Court website.)

The Dublin Regulation stipulates that the first European Union country to receive an asylum application from an asylum seeker is the country that should determine whether he or she has grounds for asylum. (Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 Establishing the Criteria and Mechanisms for Determining the Member State Responsible for Examining an Application for International Protection Lodged in One of the Member States by a Third-Country National or a Stateless Person (Dublin Regulation), No. 604/2013, 2013 O.J. (L 180) 31, art. 14, EUR-LEX.)

The Swedish Migration Court found that Hungary no longer affords sufficient protection for human rights and rule of law in their asylum process. Therefore, the Court ordered that no transfers of asylum seekers to Hungary be made. (Migrationsdomstolen stoppar överföringar till Ungern, supra). The Court explained that the changes Hungary has instituted in response to the refugee crisis mean that Hungary can no longer be presumed to uphold the principle of non-refoulement (not sending an asylum seeker back to a place where he or she risks persecution). (Id.)

The Migration Authority has announced that it will appeal the case, but in the interim is ceasing all deportations and relocations to Hungary. (Press Release, Migrationsverket, Migrationsverket stoppar tills vidare alla överföringar till Ungern [Migration Authority Stops Until Further Notice All Transfers to Hungary] (Mar. 3, 2016), Migration Authority website.)