Deported Ukrainian Won a Court Case against the Estonian State

The lawyers of the Estonian Human Rights Centre won a significant court victory in March when the court declared the deportation of Roman, who is from Crimea, from Estonia as unlawful and awarded him both material and non-material damages against the Police and Border Guard Board.

When Russia started the war against Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Roman was living in Crimea. Last May, like many other Ukrainians, he decided to leave his homeland and apply to the Estonian state for temporary protection. Upon arriving in Estonia, Roman submitted his documents to the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), including his passports of Ukraine and the Russian Federation. However, things took an unexpected turn.

On May 19, PPA summoned Roman for an interview, where he was first questioned by the Security Police (KAPO) and then by PPA officials. According to Roman, he was pressured to withdraw his application for temporary protection after submitting his documents, and on the same evening, police officers escorted him under supervision from Tallinn to Narva. At the border crossing, his Russian passports were returned to him, while the Ukrainian passports were kept by the police. On the late evening of May 19, Roman was forced to leave Estonia.

Roman sought assistance from the Human Rights Centre for help. According to the lawyers from the centre’s refugee department, the Police and Border Guard Board had violated Roman’s rights by misleading him and unlawfully deporting him from Estonia. With the support of the lawyers, Roman filed a complaint with the Tallinn Administrative Court in early June.

On March 20, the court’s decision came into effect, in which the Tallinn Administrative Court determined that it was an illegal deportation. Additionally, the court ruled that the Police and Border Guard Board had acted unlawfully in deporting Roman and demanded that the institution compensate him for both material and non-material damages, as well as cover the legal costs. The Police and Border Guard Board did not contest the decision.

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