CAT/C/66/D/829/2017

being recognized by the soldiers who tortured him, whose faces he could not see because
they were wearing masks. He believes that they are still on active service either in Cotonou
or elsewhere in the country.
2.8
On 9 September 2017, the complainant presented a medical certificate dated 19 July
2017, showing that he had been hospitalized for a second time at the psychiatric unit of
Vevey clinic between 22 June and 13 July 2017, because he had been at risk of committing
suicide. He was diagnosed with recurrent and severe depressive disorder with psychotic
symptoms and post-traumatic stress disorder as a victim of torture. The medical report
concluded that the complainant currently needs treatment in a secure environment, failing
which he would be at significant risk of self-harm. If deported to Benin, there is a danger
that he will suffer aggravated traumatic symptoms with a high risk of suicide and that he
will not have access to appropriate care. In addition, a medical certificate dated 22 August
2017 from Appartenances, an association that provides psychotherapy for migrants in
Lausanne, states that the complainant has been monitored since 20 May 2014; that he
suffers from a severe depressive disorder with psychotic symptoms; that close supervision
is necessary to avoid any risk of self-harm; and that he takes the following medication:
sertraline, Seroquel, quetiapine, zolpidem and Nexium MUPS.
2.9
The complainant claims that he needs very regular check-ups with his psychiatrists
and psychologists (weekly psychotherapeutic treatment) and strong psychotropic
medication to alleviate his daily suffering, which he would not be able to find in Benin.
Furthermore, if he was there, he would live in constant fear of being recognized by his
masked torturers. He believes that the situation in Benin is somewhat turbulent under the
new President and that his safety cannot be assured.
The complaint
3.
The complainant claims that his deportation to Benin would constitute a violation by
Switzerland of his rights under article 3 of the Convention, insofar as he would be at risk of
torture by the Beninese authorities. He risks being disappeared or killed for having reported
the events. He also claims that his deportation would result in a serious and lasting
deterioration of his state of health owing to the unavailability of appropriate psychiatric
care in his country of origin.
State party’s observations on the merits
4.1
The State party submitted its observations on the merits of the complaint in a note
verbale dated 24 November 2017.
4.2
The State party first recalls the facts and the proceedings brought before the Swiss
authorities and courts. It then analyses the case in the light of the various elements that must
be taken into account to ascertain the existence of a personal, present and serious danger of
the complainant being subjected to torture upon deportation to his country of origin: (a)
evidence of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass human rights violations in the
country of origin; (b) any claims of torture or ill-treatment in the recent past and
independent evidence to support those claims; (c) the political activity of the author within
or outside the country of origin; (d) any evidence as to the credibility of the author; and (e)
any factual inconsistencies in the author’s claims.1
4.3
The existence of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human
rights does not, in itself, constitute sufficient grounds for determining that a particular
person will be subjected to torture upon return to his or her country of origin. The
Committee must establish whether the complainant is personally at risk of being subjected
to torture in the country to which he or she is to be returned.2 Additional grounds must be
adduced in order for the risk of torture to qualify as foreseeable, real and personal for the

1

2

GE.19-12653

General comment No. 1 (1997) on the implementation of article 3 of the Convention in the context of
article 22, para. 8.
K.N. v. Switzerland (CAT/C/20/D/94/1997), para. 10.2.
3

Select target paragraph3