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PR on Judgment in M.A.M. v. Switzerland

The case of M.A.M. v. Switzerland (application no. 29836/20) concerned the applicant’s possible expulsion to Pakistan. M.A.M. is a Pakistani national who had converted from Islam to Christianity while in Switzerland, where he had arrived in 2015 and where his asylum request had been rejected. In today’s Chamber judgment1 the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that if the decision to expel the applicant to Pakistan were to be executed there would be a violation of Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights, in the absence of an assessment of the risk to which the applicant was exposed on account of the overall situation of Christian converts in Pakistan and of his own personal situation.

The Court ruled that the assessment by the Swiss authorities of the risk facing the applicant on account of his conversion to Christianity if he were expelled to Pakistan had been insufficient to uphold the rejection of his asylum request, also given that he had not been represented by a lawyer at any stage in the national proceedings.