Application no. 17695/18
against Hungary

The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting on 14 February 2023 as a Committee composed of:

Alena Poláčková, President,
Péter Paczolay,
Gilberto Felici, judges,
and Liv Tigerstedt, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having regard to:

the application (no. 17695/18) against Hungary lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) on 28 March 2018 by an Afghan national, who was born in 2000 and lives in Belgrade (“the applicant”), and who was represented by Mr T. Fazekas, a lawyer practising in Budapest;

the decision to give notice of the application to the Hungarian Government (“the Government”), represented by their Agent, Mr Z. Tallódi, of the Ministry of Justice;

the decision not to have the applicant’s name disclosed;

the parties’ observations;

Having deliberated, decides as follows:


1. The case concerns the applicant’s alleged removal from Hungary. He claimed to have crossed the border to Hungary clandestinely on 28 September 2017. He submitted that he had been apprehended by the Hungarian authorities on the same day, subjected to dog attacks and beatings inflicted by or in the presence of Hungarian officers, and removed to the external side of the border fence with Serbia. He has subsequently remained in Serbia.

2. The applicant complained that he had been part of a collective expulsion, in breach of Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 to the Convention. He also complained under Article 13 of the Convention in conjunction with Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 that he had not had any effective remedy at his disposal.


3. The Government submitted that, after inquiring with different police authorities and searching available databases, they had not found any information regarding the applicant and his alleged removal.

4. The Court notes that in the context of the expulsion of migrants, where the absence of identification and personalised treatment by the authorities of the respondent State is at the very core of an applicant’s complaint, it is essential to ascertain whether the applicant has furnished prima facie evidence in support of his or her version of events. If that is the case, the burden of proof should shift to the Government (see Shahzad v. Hungary, no. 12625/17, § 35, 8 July 2021, and N.D. and N.T. v. Spain [GC], nos. 8675/15 and 8697/15, § 85, 13 February 2020).

5. In the present case the applicant did not furnish the Court with a single material evidence of his removal (compare Shahzad, cited above § 36, and H.K. v. Hungary [Committee], no. 18531/17, § 9, 22 September 2022). Moreover, he failed to submit any convincing explanation pointing to difficulties in adducing at least some prima facie evidence in support of his assertions. In view of the foregoing, the Court cannot but conclude that the application is unsubstantiated. It must therefore be rejected as manifestly illfounded in accordance with Article 35 §§ 3 (a) and 4 of the Convention.

For these reasons, the Court, unanimously,

Declares the application inadmissible.

Done in English and notified in writing on 9 March 2023.

Liv Tigerstedt Alena Poláčková
Deputy Registrar President