EGMR: X v. Sweden (no. 36417/16)

The applicant is a Moroccan national who currently lives in Sweden. He has been granted anonymity by the Court. The case concerned his complaint that he would face torture in Morocco if Sweden deported him. The Court had indicated to Sweden under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court in September 2016 that the deportation order should not be carried out until further notice.

The applicant was granted a Swedish residence permit in 2005. In March 2016 the Swedish Security Service applied to the Migration Agency for an order to expel him, saying that he was a national security threat. He applied for asylum and international protection during the Migration Agency’s examination of the case, arguing that as the Security Service had labelled him as a terrorist he would risk torture and at least 10 years’ prison if deported to Morocco. Although he had never been suspected of any crime in his native country, the Swedish authorities would inform their Moroccan counterparts of the reason for his arrest and expulsion, which could lead to him being ill-treated and held in arbitrary detention as a terrorism suspect.


The Migration Agency granted the Security Service’s request and rejected the applicant’s asylum application. It did not agree with his arguments that he faced a risk of ill-treatment if he was deported and shared the Security Service’s assessment about him. In June 2016 the Migration Court of Appeal agreed with the Migration Agency’s assessment and it was then upheld by the Government in September of the same year. The Government also agreed with the Security Service’s assessment of the applicant and found that it was reasonable to fear that he might commit or participate in a terrorist offence.

The Government stayed enforcement of the expulsion order on 22 September 2016 after the Court’s indication.

Relying on Article 3 (prohibition of torture and of inhuman or degrading treatment), the applicant complained that if Sweden deported him to Morocco he would be considered as a security threat and subjected to ill-treatment.

  • Violation of Article 3 – in the event of Mr X’s deportation to Morocco

Interim measure (Rule 39 of the Rules of Court) – not to expel Mr X – still in force until judgment becomes final or until further order.

Just satisfaction: € 3,300 (costs and expenses)

Press realease ECHR 003 (2018) 09/01/2017