No protection against deportation for Iraqis from Baghdad solely because of the security and humanitarian situation

The Higher Administrative Court in Münster ruled on 29 August 2019 that the security situation in Baghdad is currently not so bad and the humanitarian conditions there are not so precarious that there is a claim to protection against deportation under EU law or national law.

The plaintiff, a Shiite from Baghdad, entered the Federal Republic of Germany in November 2015 and filed an asylum application, which was rejected by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. In response to its action brought against this, the Administrative Court of Gelsenkirchen obliged the Federal Republic of Germany to grant the plaintiff subsidiary protection pursuant to § 4 (1) sentence 2 no. 3 AsylG (protection against deportation under Union law) on the grounds that the plaintiff was endangered as a civilian in the context of an armed conflict. The appeal of the Federal Republic of Germany against this decision was successful.

In the verbal reasons for the decision, the presiding judge explained: The Senate could leave open whether Baghdad was currently a "domestic armed conflict" within the meaning of § 4.1 sentence 2 no. 3 of the Asylum Act. In any case, the armed conflicts still taking place in Baghdad, even after the so-called Islamic State (IS) had been pushed back as far as possible, did not lead to the fact that every civilian would be exposed to an individual danger with considerable probability solely because of his presence in Baghdad. The density of danger required by the case-law for such an assumption had not been achieved. The evaluation of the data collected by various organisations had shown that the number of victims in Baghdad had fallen steadily since 2018 and was currently at its lowest level for years. In relation to Baghdad's population of 6 to 7 million, the civilian population has a risk probability that is currently far below the threshold relevant for deportation protection.

Even the current humanitarian situation in Baghdad does not generally lead to a (national) ban on deportation. Although the supply situation in Iraq and Baghdad is inadequate in many areas, living conditions are very difficult for large sections of the population.

However, the individual circumstances of the person seeking protection must also always be taken into account. The Senate did not rule out the possibility that in individual cases, in particular in the case of particularly vulnerable groups of persons, there might be an "extraordinary situation" required by case-law in which deportation would be inadmissible for humanitarian reasons. In the case of the plaintiff, who grew up in Iraq, lived in Baghdad and still has a family connection there, such a situation did not exist.

General dangers, for example due to the volatile security situation and the tense supply situation to which the population in Iraq as a whole is exposed, are taken into account by official practice in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia: As has been the case for years, deportations to Iraq are generally not carried out.

The Senate did not allow the appeal.

Source: Press release of the Higher Administrative Court