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ECJ rules protection for torture victims at risk of worsening mental health

The European Court of Justice has ruled that asylum seekers who faced risk of “significantly and irreversibly worsened” mental health upon return to their country of origin were due protection under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Using the case of a Tamil asylum seeker from Sri Lanka seeking protection in Britain, the ECJ said,

“It is established case-law that the “inadequacy” of Sri Lanka’s health system was not contested, and it was ‘solely’ up to a national (EU member nation) court to assess whether the man, if returned, would remain protected from ill-health in terms of European Convention on Human Rights.”

The ECJ said it was up to the British justice system to decide whether the man’s health would be endangered by lack of adequate treatment on return, reports Deutsche Welle.

Several rights organisations and the United Nations have reported and documented concerns about ongoing torture in Sri Lanka.