Refusal of asylum to a Ukrainian national successfully appealed on human rights grounds

A Ukrainian national (the Appellant) was refused asylum claim by the Secretary of State (the Respondent), however the refusal was successfully appealed on the ground that the removal of the Appellant from the UK would breach his Article 3 ECHR right, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The Appellant is a Ukrainian national with Russian background, illustrated by a Russian military card, who had continuously ignored summons for military service in Ukraine. After obtaining a UK visa, the Appellant claimed asylum on the basis of his fear of harsh treatment and possibility of being forced to fire upon “fellow Russians” upon his return to Ukraine. The Respondent has argued that the Appellant did not provide sufficient evidence of his Russian background or military summons, which were allegedly destroyed by his wife who stayed in Ukraine.

The Judge noted that ill-treatment is not as severe as prosecution, however he admitted that the Appellant would likely be treated as draft evader in Ukraine. Despite the argument that Ukraine offers some alternatives to military service, which the Appellant did not consider, the Judge noted, with reference to the case of RY 2016, that there was a reasonable degree of likelihood that the Appellant would be at risk of being detained as a draft evader, especially provided his Russian background.

Together with an expert confirming the genuineness of the Appellant’s Russian military card and one summon letter, the evidence and arguments presented led to the Judge finding that the refusal to grant asylum to the Appellant could breach Article 3 rights.

On this basis, the appeal was allowed.