Europe

Human rights court stops Austria from deporting Afghan - NGO

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ZURICH, Aug 3 (Reuters) - The European Court of Human Rights has temporarily halted the imminent deportation from Austria of an Afghan whose request for asylum was turned down, a relief group supporting the man said on Tuesday.

The ECHR decision, published on the website of the non-governmental organisation Counselling for Deserters and Refugees, told the Vienna government to delay until Aug. 31 the planned deportation of the man, whose identity was not released.

The court asked the government to explain how it planned to conduct the removal given that Afghanistan has informed EU members that it has stopped accepting such deportations until Oct. 8.

It also asked whether "there is a real risk of irreparable harm" to the applicant's rights given the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.

Clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban have intensified across the country, with the insurgent group gaining control over check points, trading posts and infrastructure projects.

The court ruling applied only to the man in question.

The European Union is weighing a new package of financial aid to Afghanistan and its neighbours to help limit the flow of refugees from the country, ravaged by intense fighting between government forces and the Taliban, officials told Reuters last month. read more

Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by William Maclean

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