by: A.G. (name withheld)
victim: The author
communication: 14 April 1999
against Torture, established under article 17 of the Convention
against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
on 2 May 2000,
Decision on admissibility
1. The author
of the communication is Mr. A.G., born on 21 March 1967, an asylum-seeker
of Moldovan origin, currently residing in Sweden. The author claims
that he would risk torture if he is returned to the Republic of Moldova
and that his forced return to that country therefore would constitute
a violation by Sweden of article 3 of the Convention. The author is
not represented by counsel.
as presented by the author
2.1 The author
states that in December 1991, following the fall of the Soviet Union
and the independence of Moldova, he became active in the Union of
Moldovans of Transnistria. The author joined the Transnistrian independence
army in May 1992 and received training first in Tiraspol and then
in Bender, where he took part for several months in fighting against
the Moldovan army. The author was allegedly arrested on 20 June 1992
by the Moldovan police, presumably for armed resistence. The author
claims that he managed to escape after a few days, when the police
station was attacked by the Transnistrian independence army.
2.2 In August
1992 the author and many others deserted from the Bender guards, since
in the author's view the unit had become too independent in its attempts
to provoke continued fighting with the Moldovan army despite ongoing
peace negotiations with the Transnistrian independence army. The author
claims that he stayed with a friend in Tiraspol, in order to hide
from both the Moldovan and local Transnistrian police, who cooperated
in their search for members of the Bender guards.
2.3 The author
claims that he was again arrested in November 1992 and eventually
brought to the Osjtj 29-11 prison in Balti, in the north of Moldova.
The author was unofficially told that he was arrested because of his
service in the Bender guards. He was allegedly held for almost three
years without trial. The author submits that while in prison he was
repeatedly subjected to abusive and degrading ill-treatment. He was
allegedly beaten by other prisoners between 40 and 50 times, which
resulted in loss of consciousness on several occasions. The prison
guards not only ignored his treatment by the other prisoners, but
instigated and contributed to it, and occasionally put him in a solitary
confinement cell. The author further submits that the prison guards
also mistreated him by beating and kicking him, mainly on the head.
2.4 In August
1993, the author was sentenced to 13 years in prison, presumably for
treason, illegal possession of weapons and resisting arrest. Two years
later, in August 1995, the author was again brought to court as a
witness in another trial and managed to escape from the three prison
guards escorting him. The author arrived in Sweden, via Ukraine, Russia
and Finland, on 15 December 1995 and applied for asylum the following
2.5 On 21
October 1996 the Swedish Board of Immigration rejected the author's
request. The author appealed the decision to the Aliens Appeal Board
and following an additional oral hearing with the author on 5 February
1999 the appeal was rejected on 18 March 1999.
3. With reference
to the facts presented, the author fears that he will be subjected
to renewed torture if he is returned to Moldova and that his forced
return would therefore constitute a breach by Sweden of article 3
of the Convention.
party's observations on admissibility
4.1 On 22
June 1999 the Committee transmitted the communication to the State
party for comment. In its submission of 16 August 1999, the State
party contested the admissibility of the author's communication with
reference to article 22, paragraph 5 (a), of the Convention.
4.2 The State
party informed the Committee that on 21 March 1999 the author had
submitted a complaint relating to his expulsion to the European Court
of Human Rights, which was registered as a case pending before the
Court on 3 May 1999. The State party submits that the Committee should
declare the communications inadmissible in accordance with the above
mentioned article, which states that the Committee shall not consider
any communication if the same matter is being, or has been examined
under another procedure of international investigation or settlement.
comments on admissibility
5. On 6 September
1999, the Committee transmitted the State party's observations regarding
the question of admissibility to the author for his comments. The
author has not submitted any additional information disputing or confirming
the observations of the State party.
and proceedings before the Committee
considering any claim in a communication, the Committee against Torture
must decide whether or not a communication is admissible under article
22 of the Convention.
6.2 In the
light of the State party's observations and the absence of response
on the part of the author thereto, the Committee has verified and
assured itself that a complaint from the author was in fact registered
by the European Court on 3 May 1999. The Committee notes that the
author's communication before it was registered on 22 June 1999, while
already pending examination under another procedure of international
investigation or settlement.
the Committee decides:
the communication is inadmissible in accordance with article 22, paragraph
5 (a) of the Convention;
this decision may be reviewed under rule 109 of the Committee's rules
of procedure upon receipt of a request by or on behalf of the author
containing information to the effect that the reasons for inadmissibility
no longer apply;
this decision shall be communicated to the State party and the author.
English, French, Russian and Spanish, the English text being the original