Marek Fronc

PhD candidate “legally deported”

Except his defence couldn’t access case files.

Ameer AlKhawlany, a PhD candidate in biology at Jagiellonian University, left to Iraq in April last year, after a 6-months-long detention in Przemyśl.

ABW, Poland’s Internal Security Agency, claims he was a danger to the state. The Iraqi himself alleged1 it’s a revenge for his refusal to cooperate with the agency, which supposedly asked him to spy on Muslims living in Poland.

In detention, AlKhawlany applied for asylum, and was rejected. Przemyśl’s Regional Court decided his arrest was baseless, but ABW still went on with deportation. It’s unclear when it happened, but was apparently based on his rejected claim for asylum.

Warsaw’s Voivodship Court claimed on April 13, 2018 the deportation was legal, after Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights brought the case. The foundation, and Marek Śliz, AlKhawlany’s attorney, plan to write a complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court.2

According to the 2016 Anti-Terrorist Law3, any foreigner can be held in detention without charge and deported, while his files kept secret. Marek Śliz says he never saw them; the agency didn’t even tell him he was deported. He was informed by Ameer’s brother, whom Ameer called to say he arrived to Kirkuk.

We’ve a case where a basic right was denied – the accused’s defence. Since neither he nor his lawyer know what the exact charges are, proper defence can’t be prepared. It’s then unclear if Ameer was any danger.

Play on repeat: we’re not a lawless country.

It’s one of a few situations where foreigners are targetted in Poland. In January, University of Wrocław banned medical students from Africa and Middle East from attending labs unsupervised. Lecturers were to watch over Arab and Nigerian students to make sure “they don’t produce bombs”4. The university soon apologised.


1 The article is the only piece written in English to provide a relatively detailed point of view declared by the Iraqi. I recommend you read it; I left the details out for clarity’s sake;

2 The court of last resort for cases between private entities and public bodies;

3 Of which another creepy perk is the requirement to show an ID card while buying a prepaid SIM card;

4 a literal translation. I wish I was kidding;


#Poland