A refugee from Afghanistan who was denied asylum in Norway and sent back to his homeland was suing the Norwegian government in an Oslo court this week, because he was arrested and tortured upon his return. The Norwegian authorities had claimed he’d be safe back in Afghanistan and had no need for protection.
At issue is whether the authorities can be held responsible for the consequences their decision had for Farhad Hakimzai, also economically, when he was forced to return to Afghanistan. His supporters include a former Norwegian judge, an anti-racism group in Oslo and the national advocacy group for refugees.
Hakimzai was denied asylum in January 2007. He opted to stay in Norway illegally but was arrested by police in December 2009 and deported. He was captured shortly after his arrival in Afghanistan and tortured by the Taliban, according to his lawyer Asma Khaliq.
Hakimzai has since fled Afghanistan and now has asylum in Italy. He wants to return to Norway, however, after having learned Norwegian and obtained work while in the country. He is demanding compensation from the state on the grounds Norwegian authorities violated his human rights by sending him back.
The state argues that Hakimzai was returned to a “safe” area of Afghanistan and that he had chosen himself to travel into a dangerous area of Afghanistan where he was abducted. The state also doesn’t think it can be held responsible for actions carried out by the Taliban.