Said Kadzoev and immigrants in the EU mark a victory with today’s judgment in Luxembourg
30.11.2009 – The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has issued its judgment in Case C-357/09 PPU on the first reference for a preliminary ruling on the EC Return Directive . The reference was made by a Bulgarian court in the national case reviewing Said Kadzoev’s prolonged detention. An asylum-seeker who is a torture survivor, Said Kadzoev has been in immigration detention in Bulgaria since October 2006 to date. The Legal Clinic for Refugees and Immigrants has been providing free legal aid to Said since January 2007 and has given publicity to the human rights violations in his case, including unlimited solitary confinement in the Busmanci detention centre.
The interpretation of the EC Return Directive proposed by the Bulgarian judge would have led to an extension of the 18-months limited period of detention pending removal and introduction of exceptions to the time limit. Fortunately, the European Court of Justice affirmed the right to liberty of third country nationals in the European Union and ruled a judgment which application shall lead to Said Kadzoev’s immediate release from detention.
The Sofia Echo, European Court orders Bousmantsi detainee’s release, 02 December 2009
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