Decision of Court (Fourth Section), December 13, 2011 (case F.S. v. FINLAND)

Resolution Date:December 13, 2011
Issuing Organization:Court (Fourth Section)

Struck out of the list




Application no. 57264/09F.S. and Othersagainst Finland

The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting on 13 December 2011 as a Chamber composed of:

             Lech Garlicki, President,              David Thór Björgvinsson,              Päivi Hirvelä,              George Nicolaou,              Ledi Bianku,

             Nebojša Vučinić,              Vincent A. De Gaetano, judges,

             Lawrence Early, Section Registrar.

Having regard to the above application lodged on 27 October 2009,

Having regard to the interim measure indicated to the respondent Government under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court and the fact that this interim measure has been complied with,

Having regard to the decision to grant priority to the above application under Rule 41 of the Rules of Court,

Having regard to the observations submitted by the respondent Government and the observations in reply submitted by the applicants,

Having deliberated, decides as follows:


The first applicant, Ms F.S., is a Somali national who was born in 1980. The second and the third applicants are children of the first applicant, born in 1996 and 2007 respectively. They all live currently in Finland. Their application was lodged on 27 October 2009. The applicants were represented before the Court by Mr Harri Nevala, a lawyer practising in Oulu. The Finnish Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Mr Arto Kosonen of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The President of the Chamber decided, ex officio, that the applicants’ identities should not be disclosed (Rules 33 § 1 and 47 § 3 of the Rules of Court).

The circumstances of the case

The facts of the case, as submitted by the parties, may be summarised as follows.

Asylum proceedings

The applicants entered Finland on 16 September 2008 and sought asylum on the same day. In the asylum interview the first applicant submitted that she had left Somalia because of the war. She had intended to leave alone, but the second applicant had run after her and she had to take her along. The first applicant has five other children who remained in Somalia, as did her two nephews, of whom she had been taking care.

Having left Somalia, the first and the second applicant had travelled through Ethiopia, Sudan and Libya. They had left Libya by boat for Malta. The third applicant was born during that voyage. Upon arrival in Malta the applicants had been placed in detention. The first applicant...

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