Serbia Faces Prospect of Fines, Damage to its Reputation after Extradition of Ahmed Jaafar: Forbes

2022-01-30 - 6:49 م

Bahrain Mirror: Serbia faces the prospect of fines and further damage to its reputation, after extraditing a Bahraini national despite an order by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) not to do so, the Forbes magazine reported.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) says ignoring the interim measure could be a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and asked Serbia to explain its actions.

Sonja Tošković, legal officer of the Belgrade Center for Human Rights (BCLJP), told the local N1 news channel that her organization plans to seek a ruling that Serbia violated Article 3 of the Convention, which provides that no-one shall be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment.

"By becoming a party to the Convention, Serbia undertook not to hinder the effective exercise of rights," said Ben Brandon.

He added "By expelling Mr. Ahmed Jaafar from its territory, Serbia appears to have breached that undertaking."

"The court is likely to consider whether in doing so it has violated Article 34 of the Convention ... Serbia can expect a highly critical judgment if such a finding is made, and the award of damages to Mr. Ahmed Jaafar."

"While any award is likely to be of scant consolation to Ahmed Jaafar, the costs may seem higher for Serbia. In addition to the risk of an adverse finding and the award of costs against it, Serbia can expect censure from other Council of Europe institutions, as well as condemnation by international human rights organizations'," said Brandon.

There may be other reputational costs for the Serbian government.

Kate Goold, a partner who specialises in extradition cases at London law firm Bindmans, said the decision to extradite Ali despite the ECHR interim measure meant the Belgrade government could find it more difficult to persuade other countries to extradite people to Serbia in the future.

"It undermines confidence in Serbia and its willingness to exercise international law," she said.

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