The Higher Administrative Court for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia refused to grant a Syrian citizen asylum, knowing that he was granted initial protection by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) in 2015, and a court in Cologne granted him refugee status, according to the website InfoMigrants.
A German court ruled, at the beginning of this week, that it was not permissible to grant asylum to those who failed to conscript in Syria, justifying its ruling that “the Syrian regime no longer punishes them,” considering that “this is not enough reason to grant asylum.”
The case related to an asylum seeker who had completed his military service in Syria, but was afraid to be called again. The court justified its decision, which goes against all prior rulings, by saying that “the military situation in Syria has changed and that those who have failed to join the military service are no longer subject to systematic penalties and thus cannot be given refugee status.”
The German court’s decision contrasts with a ruling in a separate case, issued by the European Court of Justice in November 2020, in which it spoke of a strong reason to believe that those who have defected from compulsory service might be subjected to political persecution and have the right to seek asylum, a decision that is consistent with directives for dealing with Syria, defined by the European Asylum Support Office.
The Syrian Military Penal Code stipulates that “those evading conscription shall be punished with imprisonment from one to six months in peacetime, and after that, they must complete their military service. In a time of war, failure to attend compulsory service is considered a crime punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and individuals must complete their military service.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.