CAT/C/20/D/48/1996
page 2

Annex
DECISION BY THE COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE UNDER ARTICLE 22 OF THE
CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING
TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT - NINETEENTH SESSION

Communication No. 48/1996

Submitted by:

H.W.A.
(represented by counsel)

Alleged victim:

The author

State Party:

Switzerland

Date of communication:

4 April 1996

The Committee Against Torture, established under article 17 of the
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment,
Meeting on 20 May 1998,
Adopts the following:
Decision on admissibility
1.
The author of the communication is H.W.A., alias N.B.M., alias H.A., a
Syrian citizen. He claims that his forced return to Syria would constitute a
violation by Switzerland of article 3 of the Convention. He is represented by
counsel.
2.1
The author claims that he left his country at the age of 13 to join the
PLO in Lebanon. In 1984, he was sent by the PLO for special military training
to Iraq, where he stayed until 1988. Thereafter he was sent to Libya. Seeing
this assignment as a demotion, he left the PLO. He was subsequently enlisted
for a special mission, namely an attack on a hotel in Taba (Egypt) used by
Israeli soldiers. After starting out on his mission, he decided to abandon it
for safety reasons. Fearing reprisals in Libya because of his defection, he
decided to seek refuge in Europe.
2.2
Before entering Switzerland, the author entered France, where he
requested asylum under a false name. Following the rejection of that request
in March 1990, he applied for asylum in Switzerland under his real name on
20 May 1990. The Federal Refugee Office (Office fédéral des réfugiés, ODR)
rejected that request on 19 January 1993, and the Swiss Asylum Appeal Board
(Commission suisse de recours en matière d'asile, CRA) rejected his appeal on
15 February 1995. His application for review was rejected on 26 January 1996.

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