On 20 February, A.S. (name withheld for privacy reasons), a Chechen man who has been living in France for over 10 years, was released after the Administrative Court of Montreuil and the Administrative Court of Paris revoked his detention and suspended the deportation.
Having obtained refugee status in 2009, the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) revoked the refugee status of A.S. in 2016, based on national security grounds. This resulted in his residence permit, which was linked to his refugee status, not being renewed after it expired in 2020; an application to renew the permit on the basis of professional or family integration was denied.
Subsequently, A.S. had received a deportation decision on 15 January 2021 and was held in an immigration detention center since 8 February. Deportation to Russia would have put A.S. at real risk of torture and other ill-treatment. In similar cases, Chechen refugees who were returned to Russia have been forcibly disappeared. Returning A.S. to a country where his life and safety are at risk, would have been a clear breach of France’s obligations under international human rights law and standards.
The decision to release A.S. and suspend his deportation is subject to appeal. Amnesty International will continue to monitor the case and are prepared to take further steps should the decision be appealed. A.S. and his family are deeply grateful for the support and mobilisation and thank everyone who took action on their behalf.