OSLO: Mullah Krekar, founder of Ansar Al-Islam, has filed charges with Europe s human rights court against Norway, where he lives, for inhuman treatment, his lawyer said Tuesday.
We lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in April, Brynjar Meling told AFP, confirming a report in the Verdens Gang daily. The complaint is currently being handled, he added.
Krekar has lived in Norway as a refugee since 1991, but has been under threat of deportation since Norwegian media revealed he was the founder of Ansar Al-Islam, which figures on the United States list of terrorist groups.
Norway s Supreme Court on Nov. 8 upheld previous court rulings and a 2003 decision by Norwegian authorities to expel Krekar from the Scandinavian country, claiming he was a threat to national security.
Norwegian law however prevents Krekar, whose real name is Fateh Najmeddin Faraj, from being deported to his homeland until the situation in Iraq improves.
The Iraqi Kurd, who himself figures on a United Nations list of terrorist groups or individuals and has repeatedly expressed admiration for Osama bin Laden and called for jihad in Iraq, admits that he founded the group but insists he has not headed it since May 2002.
For nearly six years, my client has not been able to work, travel, or even pick up a package at the post office or open a bank account since he lacks any form of identification papers, said Meling Because of this, Krekar s wife has been forced to support him, he added.
Meling maintains that Norway has violated three articles of the European Convention on Human Rights: Article 3 banning inhuman or degrading treatment, Article 8 demanding respect for private and family life, and Article 13 providing the right to defend one s human rights before a national court.
The European court cannot reverse the verdicts handed down by the Norwegian judiciary but it can criticize the way the case has been handled and it will then be up to the state to draw any potential conclusions, the lawyer said.
The government has a strong wish to carry out the expulsion as quickly as possible, but this will have to happen within the boundaries of Norway s international human rights obligations, Libe Rieber-Mohn, a state secretary at the Labor and Social Inclusion Ministry, told AFP in an email.
She stressed that in accordance with the European human rights convention, Norway would not send anyone to an area where they risk being the victims of torture. -AFP