EU countries’ responsibility to ensure people extradited to third countries are not at risk of human rights abuse extends to citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, according to the EU’s top court.
In a ruling Thursday, the Court of Justice of the European Union said EU members can’t extradite European Free Trade Association (EFTA) nationals without first ensuring they will not be subject to the death penalty, torture or any other form of inhumane treatment.
The case concerned a citizen of Iceland set to be extradited to Russia by Croatia.
The individual — formerly a Russian national — had sought and been granted asylum in Iceland, and subsequently obtained Icelandic citizenship. However, they were in 2019 arrested in Croatia and the Croatian authorities received an extradition request from Russia, which was approved by a national court.
The CJEU ruled Iceland must be informed before its citizens can be extradited to a third country.
Iceland would then have the right to refuse the extradition request. The same would apply to any other EFTA state (Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland), provided that it “has jurisdiction, pursuant to its national law, to prosecute [the person in question] for offences committed outside its national territory.
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