UK: Upper Tribunal publishes new Country Guidance case on Eritrea

ECRE News: The Upper Tribunal published a new Country Guidance case on Eritrea. The judgment confirms that Eritreans, who evaded military service and/or left the country illegally, continue to face a real risk of persecution, serious harm or ill-treatment if returned to Eritrea.

On 10 October 2016, the Upper Tribunal published a new Country Guidance case on Eritrea, MST and Others (national service – risk categories). The judgment confirms that Eritreans, who evaded military service and/or left the country illegally, continue to face a real risk of persecution, serious harm or ill-treatment if returned to Eritrea. 

 
The Upper Tribunal finds that a person whose asylum claim has not been found credible, but who is able to satisfy a decision-maker:

  1. that he or she left illegally, and
  2. that he or she is of or approaching draft age

is likely to be perceived on return as a draft evader or deserter from national service and as a result face a real risk of persecution or serious harm. It is also possible, while rare, that a person who has exited lawfully may on forcible return face having to resume or commence national service. In such a case there is a real risk of persecution or serious harm by virtue of such service constituting forced labour contrary to Article 4(2) and Article 3 of the ECHR.
 
In response to the MST and Others judgment, the Home Office has removed their previous Country Information and Guidance on Eritrea in relation to national (including military) service and illegal exit from August 2016.