Court orders Migri rethink on Afghan asylum seekers

The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that the Immigration Service must re-examine applications as conditions in Afghanistan have significantly worsened.

Asylum seekers at a reception centre in Kirkkonummi (file photo). Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

The Supreme Administrative Court has granted leave to appeal to nearly 80 Afghan asylum seekers, overturning decisions by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) and the Administrative Court. It sent the cases back to the Finnish Immigration Service for reconsideration.

The high court noted on Friday that conditions in Afghanistan have changed significantly since Migri and the Administrative Court ruled on the applications.

Therefore, it said, arguments by asylum seekers in support of their applications seeking international protection must be reassessed, based on the latest information about conditions on the ground in Afghanistan.

The panel pointed out that the situation there remains unstable and unpredictable, after the United States withdrew forces from the country and the Taliban deposed the previous government.

The Supreme Administrative Court decreed that it was not responsible for assessing the applicants' need for international protection and therefore referred these cases back to Migri.

In July, as the Taliban militant group took control of most of Afghanistan, Migri announced that it would suspend deportations of asylum seekers to the country. However the fate of many Afghans in Finland still remains uncertain.