CAT/C/59/D/658/2015

3.3
In addition, the complainant claims that her political activities and those of her
partner have drawn the attention of the Ethiopian security services, which further increases
the manifest risk of persecution, torture and inhuman or degrading treatment to which she
would be exposed if she were to return to Ethiopia.
3.4
The complainant also points out that she suffers from post-traumatic stress and that
her daughter has significant language delay and presents autistic tendencies.
State party’s observations on the merits
4.1
On 11 August 2015, the State party submitted observations on the merits of the
communication. The State party recognizes that the human rights situation in Ethiopia is
worrying in many respects. However, this situation cannot, of itself, constitute a sufficient
reason to conclude that the author would be at risk of being subjected to torture on her
return to her country of origin. 2 The State party considers that the complainant has not
provided evidence to suggest that she would run a foreseeable, real and personal risk of
being subjected to torture if she were returned to Ethiopia.
4.2
The complainant states that she was ill-treated and threatened by police officers on
two occasions, on 17 and 24 May 2012. The Swiss authorities have identified
inconsistencies in her statements to the extent that they consider them not plausible. Thus, it
was only that at her second hearing that the complainant claimed to have been arrested at
her home on 24 May 2012. At her first hearing, she explained in one sentence that she had
been questioned on 17 May 2012 and had left Ethiopia on 9 June, without making any
reference to the event which allegedly occurred between those dates. The State party
considers that it is not credible that the complainant failed to mention the arrest on that
occasion even briefly, although she later claimed to have been detained for several hours,
severely beaten and threatened with death, and that it was as a result of that arrest that she
decided to go abroad. Furthermore, the complainant first claimed that, during the first
questioning, she had been interrogated by four to five police officers, but then later said that
she had been questioned by a single person.
4.3
The State party also considers that the complainant’s allegations that, if she were to
return to the country, she would be tortured for her membership of Ginbot 7 since 20082009 do not seem credible. At her first hearing, she mentioned only her partner’s political
activities. When asked to provide other reasons that would prevent her returning to Ethiopia,
she did not add anything. It was only at the second hearing that she stated that she too was
active in Ginbot 7 and that she would therefore be sought by the Ethiopian authorities. The
State party considers that, if the complainant had actually taken part in such political
activity and if she were sought for that reason, she would not have omitted mentioning this
essential element at her first hearing.
4.4
In addition, the complainant described her activities in Ginbot 7 in a confused way.
She had to be asked several times how she had joined the party before she said that she had
contacted a friend of her partner’s, who allegedly put her in contact with the party, but she
did not specify how she had joined. The Swiss authorities also noted a lack of credibility in
the complainant’s statement that the reason she did not ask her partner to help her join the
party was that, until she joined, she was unaware that he was a member. She also did not
explain how, in those circumstances, she was aware of her partner’s friend’s activities. The
complainant also made vague and inconsistent statements about party meetings that did not
indicate that she had actually been present. She did not respond to the questions asked in
any detail, but rather with brief and non-committal statements, obliging the interviewer to
try to elicit more information by asking further questions. It seemed that the author did not
know when the movement in question became illegal, and has no information on how it is
organized at local level.
4.5
In respect of the complainant’s statements that she also took part in Ginbot 7
activities in Switzerland and that would mean she would risk being subjected to torture if
she were to return to Ethiopia, the State party points out that the Swiss authorities consider
it unlikely that the author was a member of Ginbot 7 or took part in activities for the
2

GE.17-04946

See communication No. 106/1998, N.P. v. Australia, Views adopted on 6 May 1999, para. 6.5.
3

Select target paragraph3