Annual Report: Austria 2010

May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Austria 2010

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  • 14-year-old Florian P. died and a 17-year-old was seriously wounded after a burglary in Krems in August, allegedly from shots fired by two police officers. A prompt and impartial investigation failed to take place. The police officers involved were interrogated only days later by colleagues, not by the Public Prosecutor's office, as provided by law. In September, an expert appointed by the Public Prosecutor found that the account of the incident given by one police officer was grossly incorrect, which led to delays in the investigation. Despite his injuries, the 17-year-old suspect was immediately interrogated in hospital and was denied his right for a “trusted third party” to be present. At the end of the year the investigation was still ongoing.
  • On 13 January 2009, 27-year-old Chechen refugee Umar Israilov was killed, reportedly by Chechen assailants in Vienna. Umar Israilov had stated publicly that he had been tortured by President Kadyrov and his security forces in Chechnya and had filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in 2006 on the grounds of torture. Umar Israilov's lawyer explained the case in detail to the police, and repeatedly asked them to protect him, but the authorities failed to implement an adequate response.

Migrants' and asylum-seekers' rights

On 21 October, the parliament adopted new legislation amending the 2005 law on aliens. The new provisions, due to come into force on 1 January 2010, considerably increased the number of cases where asylum-seekers had to be detained, in contravention of international human rights standards. The Interior Ministry terminated the contracts of almost all independent NGOs providing legal advice to asylum-seekers, thus limiting their ability to obtain asylum or international protection and to challenge the reasons for their detention and deportation.

Amnesty International visit/report

An Amnesty International delegate visited Austria in April

Victim or suspect: A question of colour – racial discrimination in the Austrian justice system (9 April 2009)